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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Long: Gillibrand Needs to Tell Speaker Silver to Step Aside in Light of "Gropergate" Investigation

September 4, 2012 at 1:00 pm (Dennis Hastert, Gropergate, John Sweeney, Kirsten Gillibrand, New York, NY-20, Off the Sidelines, Sheldon Silver, Vito Lopez, War on Women, Wendy Long)

A whole new level of hypocrisy and dysfunction, that’s the state things have gone to in Albany where top Democrats pay taxpayer dollars in hush money to silence victims of sexual harassment. But where is Senator Gillibrand, America’s number one cheerleader for women’s rights?

U.S. Senate candidate Wendy Long said, “As New York Democrats rally in Charlotte and attempt to distract attention from jobs and the economy with talk of a phony ‘war on women,’ they turn their back on systematic and government-sanctioned sexual harassment back here in New York. It’s time for Senator Gillibrand, self-anointed protector of women’s rights, to get ‘off the side lines’ and call on Speaker Silver to step aside while investigations by JCOPE and Staten Island District Attorney Donovan proceed.”

Gillibrand, who only belatedly called for Lopez’s resignation, has worked fanatically to position herself as an advocate for women’s rights, even claiming that her campaign front, Off the Sidelines, assists Republicans. But when it comes to standing up for victims of sexual harassment and bucking her party, she has lost her voice.

In her 2006 race for Congress, Gillibrand urged then Congressman Sweeney to join her in calling for the resignation of Speaker Dennis Hastert in the wake of his negligence in handling the information provided to his office about Congressman Foley’s interaction with young Congressional pages.

“Democrats are scurrying like rats off a sinking ship to distance themselves from Lopez’s predatory behavior, but equally disturbing is the good old boy network that attempted to sweep ‘Gropergate’ under the rug and use taxpayer dollars to silence victims. New Yorkers deserve to know the truth, and Senator Gillibrand should call on the Speaker to step aside from his leadership post to assure a swift and complete investigation of the matter,” added Long.

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