NY GOP Chairman Calls on Silver to Resign Over Repeated Sexual Harassment Coverups

September 4, 2012 at 5:29 pm (Ed Cox, Ethics, Gropergate, J. Michael Boxley, New York, Sheldon Silver, Vito Lopez)

It’s a scandal that Democrats don’t want you to know about here in New York state – Gropergate. So much so, that they’ve taken to seating New York delegates at the convention in practically another zip code.

Today New York GOP Chairman Ed Cox called on Sheldon Silver to step down as Speaker of the Assembly Following Sex Abuse Cover-up Revelations:

“Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver claims his actions handling the cover-up of a hush-money payout to quell sexual abuse allegations against Democrat Assemblyman Vito Lopez were ‘legal and ethical.’

“A judge appointed special prosecutor will determine if criminal liability attaches to actions approved by the Speaker, but we don’t need a special prosecutor to rule on the ethics of this transaction.

“Faced with a member of his caucus who had on multiple occasions sexually harassed female staff members, Speaker Silver neglected to refer the matter to the Assembly Ethics Committee and instead took an active role in covering up the abuse, including paying over $100,000 of taxpayer money to the victim, who did not request confidentiality.

“Silver’s actions were unethical and wholly unbecoming of a member of the New York State Assembly, let alone its Speaker.

“Sheldon Silver’s history of covering up sex abuse in the Democratic Assembly caucus includes a $500,000 settlement in 2004 for sexual misconduct by Silver’s Chief Counsel and an $80,000 settlement in 1992 for similar charges against another Democratic Assemblyman.

“As Speaker, Sheldon Silver has allowed a culture of abuse to permeate the Democratic Assembly caucus and has demonstrated a manifest disregard for the wellbeing and safety of female Assembly staff members.

“Additionally, the Speaker’s use of public money to settle these claims is questionable at best, and may in and of itself be illegal.

“Enough is enough. The line must be drawn here. For the sake of female officials and staffers in the Assembly – and indeed for the sake of all New Yorkers – Sheldon Silver must step down as Speaker of the New York State Assembly.”

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