Headline of the Day: “Sheldon-come-lately”
Assembly Speaker Shelly Silver‘s late-night call to expel disgraced Assemblymen Vito Lopez from office hasn’t helped to temper calls for his head. But most Democratic leaders seem unlikely to push for disciplinary action against the speaker. Gov. Andrew Cu0mo told reporters yesterday he didn’t think it was his place “to say who the speaker is and who the speaker should be.” He added: “I don’t see any comparison between what Vito Lopez and what Shelly Silver did … There is a magnitude of difference.”
On an unrelated note, the governor seems to be raking in the green. His most recent finance disclosure statement, made public Thursday, shows he made between $1.75 million and $2 million. The bulk of his assets are reportedly managed by a blind trust at AMG National Trust Bank.
Assembly Speaker Shelly Silver’s office released a statement late Thursday suggesting for the first time that disgraced Assemblyman Vito Lopez could be expelled from office following the damning Joint Commission on Public Ethics report.
Per the statement, Mr. Silver intends to introduce a resolution tomorrow asking the Assembly’s Ethics & Guidance Committee to “recommend appropriate sanctions including expulsion” against Mr. Lopez following the report, which detailed what City Council Speaker Christine Quinn described as “nauseating” conduct with young female staffers.
Assemblyman Vito Lopez is not happy with today’s state ethics commission’s report detailing the sexual harassment allegations that former staff members have lodged against him. Accordingly, Mr. Lopez blasted both the report’s process and its findings in a lengthy, 3-page statement released this afternoon.
“Salacious and sensational claims in the JCOPE report are fallacious,” Mr. Lopez said, referring to the Joint Commission on Public Ethics and writing in third-person perspective. “These claims, including that he made sexual references to a 14 year old intern and ‘opined that statutory rape laws should not exist’, are simply not true.”
Although Assemblyman Vito Lopez was cleared of criminal charges today, the New York State Joint Commission on Public Ethics still found plenty to to dislike about him in a revealing report that concluded that Mr. Lopez fostered a shockingly sordid work environment in clear violation of official standards of conduct.
In the scathing 68-page report, Mr. Lopez–who was stripped of his powerful committee chairmanship and his position atop the Brooklyn Democratic Party after sexual harassment allegations first surfaced last year—engaged in such acts as hanging mistletoe in his district office and forcibly kissing a staffer, shoving his hand “all the way up” the inner thigh of another staffer and more.
Manhattan Borough President Stringer showed off pictures of his newborn son, Maxwell Eliot Stringer (left).
Congress narrowly avoided another shutdown.
Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu wants Trinity Church to let protesters occupy its vacant lot on Canal Street.
Former Deputy Mayor Kevin Sheekey owns the web site Bloomberg2012.com.