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
Local

Apple says its systems not to blame for…

By Edwin Chan and Christina FarrSAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - The week before a crucial launch of its new iPhone, Apple Inc said intimate photos of…

Local

Tallest residential building planned for lower Manhattan

A residential tower planned for lower Manhattan will soar 1,356 feet in the air -- just 12 feet shy of 1 World Trade Center. When…

Local

Bronx man commits suicide by decapitation

A Bronx man committed suicide Monday morning in the Hunts Point area of the Bronx by decapitating himself. According to the NYPD, the 51-year-old man…

Local

Top cops enroll in Twitter course at John…

NYPD officers are reportedly getting a lesson on the best way to use 140 characters or less. The New York Post reported Tuesday top officers…

Arts

Pop culture and prostitutes: New Toulouse-Lautrec exhibit at…

Henri Toulouse-Lautrec documented the cult of celebrity and the rise of pop entertainment in his prints, posters and lithographs — now on display at MoMA.

Arts

PHOTO: Extreme artist Eskil Ronningsbakken balances unicycle on…

Extreme artist’ Eskil Ronningsbakken balances on the edge of a cliff face at 4,600 feet – on a unicycle. The Norwegian travels across the globe, balancing over vertiginous ravines, tall…

Music

Hear two previously unreleased Adele songs

Missing some Adele in your life? Two previously unreleased songs from the singer have appeared online.

Music

Lincoln Center just made 'Lord of the Rings'…

Middle Earth already has sweeping vistas, a hero's journey and technology-revolutionizing special effects. But next April, the Lincoln Center will add another dimension to Peter Jackson's…

NFL

10 storylines to watch for the Giants this…

The Giants rebounded from an embarrassing 0-6 start last season, but not well enough to make the playoffs.

NFL

Michael Vick set to be weekly guest with…

Mike Francesa may need to backtrack from his harsh commentary of Michael Vick now that the Jets backup quarterback will be a weekly guest on his show.

NFL

Jets expect to make playoffs after sitting on…

The same pundits who predicted the Jets would be woeful a season ago are now eying the playoffs for this revamped team.

NFL

Antonio Allen returns to practice after concussion

Antonio Allen was cleared to practice again following his concussion two weeks ago.

Parenting

In defense of making a mess during playtime

"Recipes for Play" authors Rachel Sumner and Ruth Mitchener think playtime should involve the five senses and making a mess is part of the fun.

Wellbeing

Jason Hope helps push anti-aging efforts forward

Reporter was commissioned to write this in-depth article When it comes to age-related illness, the direction of modern medicine seems more reactive than proactive. In…

Wellbeing

Today's Doomsday preppers: a closer look at survivalist…

Reporter was commissioned to write this in-depth article. The term “Doomsday prepper” is often associated with the paranoid, anti-government stereotype of the 1990s. The truth…

Education

These college students think breakfast is the most…

  It should be no surprise that the city that never sleeps is also home to the most students who like to order food in…