As Vito Lopez resigns, scrutiny of Speaker Silver mounts

ALBANY, NY - MARCH 12: Speaker of the New York State Assembly Sheldon Silver speaks to members of the media in the State Capitol March 12, 2008 in Albany, New York. New York state Governor Eliot Spitzer announced his resignation today after various media reports have linked him to a prostitution ring. New York Lieutenant Governor David Paterson will take over for Spitzer when his resignation goes into effect Monday, March 17, 2008. (Photo by Daniel Barry/Getty Images)
Sheldon Silver approved a settlement with two women who accused Assemblyman Vito Lopez of harassment. Credit: Daniel Barry/Getty Images

State Assemblyman Vito Lopez is set to resign Monday morning after an ethics report detailing sexual harassment allegations against him led Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver to take steps to expel the assemblyman. But as Lopez prepares to leave office, Silver is facing mounting scrutiny for secretly approving a settlement with two women who accused Lopez, the New York Times reports.

The report released last week by the Joint Commission on Public Ethics found that Silver and his staff failed to refer the initial allegations against Lopez to the ethics committee. And a separate report by Staten Island District Attorney Dan Donovan suggested that the way Silver’s staff handled the allegations encouraged Lopez to continue with his inappropriate conduct.

The state Republican Party and several Assembly Republicans have called for Silver’s resignation, the Times reports. Women’s groups and government watchdog organizations have also criticized the speaker. No prominent Democratic elected officials have called for Silver to step down.

“The speaker has said from the start that we have made serious mistakes in the way this was handled, although we believed at the time we were acting according to the wishes of the victims,” a spokesman for Silver wrote in an email to the Times. “We will be discussing with members important changes so these mistakes will not be repeated.”

The allegations against Lopez first became public last August. Anger towards the assemblyman intensified after last week’s report, which contained graphic details of how Lopez sexually harassed at least eight female staffers. He told the women to massage him, wear low-cut blouses and miniskirts, stay overnight with him to “cuddle” and other requests. Gov. Andrew Cuomo stated that Lopez should be expelled if he does not resign.

Lopez said Friday that he would resign on June 20 and then focus on his run for City Council, but he announced on Saturday that he would resign effective Monday at 9 a.m.


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
International

'Barack Obama cheats on Michelle' claims Japanese politician…

A senior Japanese politician has marred Barack Obama's official visit to Tokyo with bizarre claims that the President cheats on his wife Michelle. Kazuyuki Hamada,…

International

British Royal family devastated by freak NY death…

The British royals have been left devastated by the death of Mark Shand, younger brother of Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, after a freak fall in…

Local

Philadelphia principal has President Obama's ear

The West Philadelphia head is gathering ideas to present to the White House.

Local

Neighbors testify at Overbrook roommate slaying trial

Neighbors and roommates were called to testify Wednesday in the trial of Renaldo Robichaw, 56, charged with murder for the death of roommate Albert Smith, 48.

Television

‘Survivor: Cagayan’ recap: Episode 9

It was only an hour-long episode, but there's a lot to cover this week. The drama of Survivor strikes again as the identity of the…

Television

TV watch list, Wednesday, April 23: 'Suburgatory,' 'Modern…

'Suburgatory' The men of "Suburgatory" go camping and Tessa mentors a social outcast in a Miss Chatswin contest, which brings her, once again, into conflict…

Movies

Latin culture highlighted at Filadelphia film fest

Get ready to have a “Bad Hair” day at the upcoming Filadelphia Latin American Film Festival. We mean that in the best possible way. The…

The Word

The best lines from Oprah's ex-stepmother's Daily Mail…

Oprah’s ex-stepmother, Barbara Winfrey, is out for revenge.

NFL

2014 NFL Mock Draft: Updated, new April 24…

2014 NFL Mock Draft: Updated, new April 24 version

NFL

Eagles will spend Thanksgiving in Dallas, play four…

The Eagles have an impressive, challenging and exciting schedule in 2014.

NFL

NFL releases Eagles 2014 schedule

The Eagles have four primetime games, face the Cowboys on Thanksgiving and host the Seahawks in a dynamic, challenging and impressive schedule.

NHL

All signs suggest Steve Mason will start in…

Flyers head coach Craig Berube elected to put Steve Mason in net for the final minutes of Game 3.

Style

Pippa Middleton's Etsy pick: Golden Thread Jewelry

Get a look at the jewelry Pippa Middleton loves and find out how you can buy it too.

Parenting

What every parent needs to know to get…

Mom and author of "Small Talk," Tracey Blake, shares her five practical tips to help you develop your children's language skills.

Sex

Subway crush: Meet your soulmate on your commute

Read about a couple who has been 40 years after meeting on the train.

Tech

Happy birthday, Game Boy! The handheld console turns…

Nintendo's Game Boy turns 25 this week. To commemorate, we look at some of its better games, like "Tetris" and "The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening."