Vito Lopez scandal remains an issue for Sheldon Silver

Vito Lopez
Assemblyman Vito Lopez stepped down this morning.

Vito Lopez may no longer be Sheldon Silver’s colleague as of this morning, but it seems he may still be the Speaker’s problem.

Calls for investigation into Silver have developed into calls for a coup, as women’s groups, government watchdog organizations, and newspaper editorial boards across the state rail against the Speak.

Thursday’s New York Post covered featured the Speaker with Lopez under the headline “Dirty Old Men.” Silver is being criticized for arranging a confidential settlement with staffers who filed sexual harassment complaints against Lopez.

Assemblyman Micah Kellner, running for City Council, told the New York Times the investigation into the confidentiality agreement needs to include “who proposed it, who wrote it, and who required it.”

Lopez was cleared of criminal charges, but a 68-page report by the New York State Joint Commission on Public Ethics detailed shocking behavior.

Lopez reportedly pushed his hand “all the way up” the inner thigh of an employee, and two others contracted pink eye after consenting to apply eye drops to Lopez’s infected eyes. At a bar in Brooklyn he apparently grabbed the hand of an employee, and squeezed harder when she tried to pull away. She began to cry and he forced her to count to sixty before releasing her.

He also made a staffer massage his hand after asking her if she “felt guilty” about being a victim of sexual assault in college. While she cried, he said, “I like that you’re holding my hand.”

A recent New York Post report stated that state government corruptions costs taxpayers at least $49,710,630.64. According to The Post, that amount of money could fund two new schools, 100 new fire trucks, or the New York Islanders.

The Post noted that the Lopez settlement cost taxpayers $103,000.

Past attacks against Silver have not been successful. Over a decade ago, Syracuse Assemblyman Michael Bragman attempted to overthrow Silver as Assembly Speaker, and Silver immediately took away Bragman’s title as majority leader. Silver’s allies crushed Bragman without Silver ever emerging from his office to come to the floor to defend himself.

A source apparently told the Daily News that Governor Andrew Cuomo is leaving Lopez’s seat vacant until a primary can be held in September, in order to prevent Lopez from being able to exert any control over his replacement in a special election.

 

Follow Danielle Tcholakian on Twitter @danielleiat



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Thousands protest in New York over Eric Garner…

The Reverend Al Sharpton led thousands of chanting but peaceful activists in a march across Staten Island on Saturday to protest the death of Eric Garner.

International

Egypt calls for Gaza ceasefire as fighting rages

Egypt called on Israel and the Palestinians on Saturday to halt fire and resume peace talks, but violence continued unabated.

National

SpaceX rocket terminated in Texas test flight

A Space Exploration Technologies’ Falcon 9 rocket suffered an anomaly shortly after launch on a test flight, triggering its automatic termination system.

Local

MAP: New York City Street Closures August 22,…

The Percy Sutton Harlem 5K and NYC Family Health Walk-a-thon and Pakistan Day Parade and Fair will cause traffic delays and street closures in New York City this weekend. Plan…

Music

Arcade Fire concert review, Massachusetts, Aug. 19

Arcade Fire take the opposite approach of "Shut up and play the hits," and it works in their favor on the "Reflektor" tour.

Television

Recap: 'The Knick,' Season 1, Episode 3, 'The…

The third episode of Steven Soderbergh's "The Knick" finds Dr. Thackery (Clive Owen) meeting an old flame and other characters embracing self-destruction.

Music

Webcast: Watch Polyphonic Spree live on Sunday Aug.…

Polyphonic Spree singer Tim DeLaughter sits with Metro Music Editor Pat Healy for a chat and then the big band performs live. It begins on Sunday at 9:30 pm

Movies

Matthew Weiner on directing 'Are You Here' and…

"Mad Men" creator Matthew Weiner discusses his movie "Are You Here," his history writing comedy and the tiny movie he directed in 1996 you can't see.

NFL

3 things we learned about the Giants in…

The Giants claimed the Snoopy trophy in a battle of MetLife Stadium tenants Friday night. But more importantly, the offense finally showed some life in…

NFL

3 things we learned about the Jets in…

The Jets lost the Snoopy Bowl, 35-24, to the Giants, losing the trophy and local bragging rights.

NFL

Fantasy football draft guide: How to draft your…

Many are wondering if we’re entering a new age in fantasy football drafting — one where running backs take a backseat.

NFL

Jets vs. Giants: 3 Giants storylines to watch

The Giants have plenty to work on as they reach the dress rehearsal preseason game Friday night against the rival Jets.

Wellbeing

Asics is giving away free gear around NYC…

Asics wants to see you on the court - and in the stands for the U.S. Open, which begins Monday - by giving away free…

Sex

Big weddings may lead to long-term happiness

Dreaming of a big wedding? A new study indicates that the longer your guest list, the happier you’ll be in the long run. l A…

Sex

Online dating for every generation

Frank Jackson and his mother Maggie are like lots of modern families: They have dinner together regularly, keep each other updated on their lives —…

Wellbeing

Going green could be the key to getting…

If we could just pursue the things that would actually make us happy, we could help the environment too, according to a New York researcher.…