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Sexual Harassment Victims Considering Claim Based on Cover-up


It has been reported that two of former State Assemblyman Vito Lopez's sexual harassment victims are considering whether to assert claims against Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver for covering up earlier sexual harassment complaints against Lopez by means of a confidential settlement. According to the attorney for the two women, his clients would not have been sexually harassed had Silver properly responded to the first complaints and referred to matter to the Assembly's Standing Committee on Ethics. A scathing report from the Joint Commission on Public Ethics concluded last week that Lopez subjected young female staffers to inappropriate touching and comments about their bodies, among other vile and vulgar conduct. Staffers who rejected Lopez sexual advances were forced to endure his wrath, which included publicly berating them and denigrating their work performance. On Monday, May 20, 2013, Speaker Silver expressed his deep regret for failing to refer the original sexual harassment complaints against Lopez to the Ethics and Guidance Committee, stating "for this I am sorry." Lopez has since resigned his position.

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