Brooklyn Assemblyman Loses Post in Sex Harassment Case

Friday, August 24, 2012

state capitol Capitol building in Albany (Karen DeWitt/WXXI)

An influential state assemblyman from Brooklyn has lost his committee chairmanship and seniority after the Assembly Committee on Ethics and Guidance found he violated the chamber's sexual harassment policy.

The bipartisan panel's unanimous finding says Assemblyman Vito Lopez created a hostile workplace, including verbal and physical sexual abuse, and found his response to the allegations "not credible." Details were not initially disclosed Friday.

Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver says he accepted the findings and will implement the recommendations to remove Lopez as chairman of the Committee on Housing, ban him from any other leadership positions, reduce his staff allocation to freshman levels, require him to get supplemental sexual harassment training and prohibit him from employing any staff under age 21 or interns.

A call to Lopez was not immediately returned.

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