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Lopez Sexual Harassment Probe Moves Forward

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Assemblyman Vito Lopez Assemblyman Vito Lopez (Azi Paybarah)

By all indications, it appears the Joint Commission on Public Ethics has ended its six-month investigation into allegations that Brooklyn Assemblyman Vito Lopez sexually harassed female staffers.

The state ethics panel, JCOPE, announced Wednesday that it was sending a report to the enforcers at the Legislative Ethics Commission and to a similar committee in the state Assembly.

It's unclear what exactly is in the report on Lopez but it's now the onus of action is on the two ethics panels. If they agree with investigation's findings, they could fine Lopez as much as $40,000 or possibly move toward expelling him from the state Assembly.

And there is still an ongoing criminal probe into Lopez's conduct headed by Staten Island District Attorney Dan Donovan.

Lopez gave up chairmanship of the Brooklyn Democratic Party last year. But in November, the Assemblyman won reelection in his Bushwick district with 75 percent of the vote.

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