Stephen Nessen, Reporter, WNYC News
Stephen Nessen reports for the WNYC Newsroom and can often be heard live on Morning Edition.
Some Brooklyn constituents say they are unfazed by the scathing ethics report that described in lurid detail how Assemblyman Vito Lopez allegedly sexually harassed female staffers – and they are standing by him.
George Vivas, a senior who spends time at the Lopez-funded Hope Gardens Senior Center in Bushwick, said he doesn't believe claims in the report – that Lopez encouraged women to wear revealing clothing, made them feel his tumors or convinced them to spend time with him outside the office.
"I know Lopez for a long time," Vivas said. "He's a good man."
Many at the center, which is funded by Lopez's Ridgewood Bushwick Senior Citizens Council, say they remember when Lopez brought food during the holidays.
"I don't believe that," said Luc Ramos, 63, a resident of the center, when she heard the news. "When I vote, I vote for him all the time.”
But an employee who declined to give her name for fear of reprisal, said that if the report is true, Lopez needs to step down.
"If it's true, it's time to remove him from the seat — case closed,” she said. “If they have proof — please, do something.”
Lopez will has been eyeing a City Council run.