Watchdog Group Pushes Ethics Board to Probe Reason for Silver's Secret Payout

Monday, September 10, 2012

Brooklyn Democratic leader Vito Lopez (Azi Paybarah)

A watchdog group is pushing the state ethics board to examine whether the influence of former Brooklyn heavyweight Assemblyman Vito Lopez was a factor in the decision to keep payouts to those who accused him of sexual harassment a secret.

Speaking on WNYC’s Brian Lehrer Show, Dick Dadey, president of watchdog group Citizens Union, said he hopes the Joint Commission on Public Ethics will investigate the motivation behind Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver’s decision to pay more than $100,000 to two of Lopez's accusers.

“Vito Lopez was, at the time of the first settlement, a very powerful political figure in New York state politics and that’s what we’d like to see JCOPE to take a look at,” Dadey said. “Was the decision here to keep it secret some how influence by the tremendous power that Vito Lopez had?”

The sexual harassment scandal led to Lopez being stripped of his seniority and leadership positions was on nearly everyone’s mind.

Lopez has maintained that he has never sexually harassed anyone.

A state judge on Friday opened up the scope of the investigation into the sexual harassment allegations leveled against Lopez, including the payout settlement.

The order will allow the special prosecutor in the case, Republican Staten Island District Attorney Dan Donovan, to look at the charges of sexual misconduct against Lopez and money used to settle previous allegations violated election, penal or other laws.


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Comments [4]

Christian from StPetersburg, NY

Why is it so obvious that both legislators Lopez and Silver appear like two peas in the same pod as to-betraying-their elected offices? Lopez with sexual assaults against his employees, and then with both legislators, both trying to buy- silence -to protect Lopez from any bad publicity from what he sleazily did, completely betrayed their titles and positions in New York State government.

Both used their positions of power to in effect -steal- over 100 thousand dollars from the peoples Treasury, to buy that silence for themselves. They duped the Comptroller, by using a Voucher and noting on it "(the money is for)attorneys fees". In other words both committed FRAUD; it was theft, to get that sum of money to use for themselves, to cover, as for their victims silence.

Both continued--the malfeasance--seeking and getting agreement for that cover and silence, more help, from a dozen or more attorneys, in the office under A.G.Sneiderman. They apparently duped all of them and the A.G. too.

...note to Dick Dadey: see the above as to the "motivation" you had asked about(to Brian lehrer on his Show, on or about 10 Sept 2012)

Oct. 27 2012 09:46 PM

Is there a man or a woman in New York State, who is not employed by Sheldon Silver, or an indirect recipient of his pork, who does not believe this immoral man should resign?

How can we rid ourselves of this cancer on our state?

Sep. 14 2012 11:02 PM
wgalison from paris

This scandal pales in comparison to Silver's illegal nomination and confirmation of his childhood friend Jonathan Lippman for Chief Judge of New York.

All of the same players: Sampson, Lefcourt, Batri.....

Here is a documented exposé of the fraudulent nomination and confirmation of NY Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman from the award winning newsblog Truthout.

Sep. 14 2012 10:17 AM
dave from Bronx

Vito has to go- and so does Silver- lawmakers should not be supporting those who violate the law- Speaker Silver would rather members of the Assembly continue to violate the law then protect the public good-his actions are reprehensible- he has to go.

Sep. 10 2012 04:14 PM

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