sex lies and videotape
Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Monday that voters don’t blame him for the scandals sweeping Albany, joking that nobody could have expected him to ban sex.
Speaking during an appearance on WCNY’s “Capitol Pressroom” earlier today, Mr. Cuomo was asked about a new poll that shows that, despite the recent scandals–including Assemblyman Vito Lopez’s resignation following sexual harassment allegations–his numbers have ticked slightly up.
Ex-Assemblyman Vito Lopez’s resignation became effective at 9 a.m. this morning, and Assembly officials wasted little time scrubbing all traces of the disgraced legislator online and in Albany.
Mr. Lopez’s official government website has already been removed, as has his official Assembly email address. (“Delivery to the following recipient failed permanently,” a message read.) By 10:30 a.m., the nameplate outside his Legislative Office Building had also been removed–apparently forcibly, per a photo tweeted by The New York Times‘ Thomas Kaplan. His name will also be removed from his floor seat, an official said.
City Council Speaker Christine Quinn is throwing her weight–and campaign resources–behind City Council candidate Antonio Reynoso in an effort to keep disgraced Assemblyman Vito Lopez from wining a seat on the council.
Ms. Quinn’s campaign announced the launch of a “Women for Reynoso” campaign Friday, which will “rally women throughout New York in support of Antonio Reynoso and to make sure that Vito Lopez’s career in government comes to an end.”
Disgraced Assemblyman Vito Lopez just announced that he will resign from the Assembly at the end of the legislative session–but still intends to run for City Council.
The announcement comes in the wake of a damning report released this week outlining his alleged sexual harassment of numerous young women who worked for him and a day after Assembly Speaker Shelly Silver said he would introduce a resolution seeking his expulsion.
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.
And Stay out!
Describing his conduct as “nauseating,” City Council Speaker Christine Quinn again called on disgraced Assemblyman Vito Lopez to resign from office, but held her fire when it came to Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver.
A day after the release of a scathing report detailing Mr. Lopez’s alleged sexual harassment of numerous young female staffers, Ms. Quinn said Mr. Lopez had no business serving in elected office–much less running for the City Council–and urged New Yorkers to do anything they can to keep him out of City Hall.
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.
His mouth buried in a bullhorn, Lincoln Restler howled at the tinted windows in front of him.
“I see you didn’t bring your daughters to dinner!” the Democratic activist shouted at a slew of dark-suited men slipping soundlessly into the sumptuous Williamsburg restaurant.
“Ooh,” mumbled a grinning police officer. “That was harsh.”
Saying No to Vito
His opponents have announced a protest outside of his first City Council fund-raiser tomorrow, but Assemblyman Vito Lopez told Politicker he’s not rattled by their efforts.
“It seems like they’re putting a lot of time and energy into preventing me from running, even though I haven’t yet decided to run,” Mr. Lopez, the ex-Brooklyn Democratic Party boss facing allegations that he repeatedly sexually harassed staffers, explained earlier today. “You wonder–they’re a reform group–why would they want to spend energy to prevent somebody from running in an election? That doesn’t seem like reform.”