The following is a blog post submitted by New York State Assembly Candidate Deborah McKee.
Deborah McKee, Republican and Conservative Candidate for New York State Assembly in the 4th District, is today calling for Assemblyman Steve Englebright to step down from his position as Chairman of the Committee on Governmental Operations. McKee is also calling for the resignation of Democratic Brooklyn Assemblyman Vito Lopez and Majority Speaker of the New York State Assembly Sheldon Silver.
After several employees of Lopez’s office came forward accusing him of sexual harassment, Silver approved a backdoor secretive payoff of the victims in excess of $100,000, paid for by the taxpayers.
Englebright only responded to the sex scandal and called for the resignation of Lopez, not Silver, after media outlets picked up a press release from the McKee campaign, blasting him for his deafening silence on the issue.
“Steve Englebright’s call for Vito Lopez to resign is too little, too late, and is no more than a political ploy. Where was Englebright when this story broke more than a week ago?” said McKee. “As the Chair of the Committee on Governmental Operations, who cites government ethics, transparency, and efficiency as top priorities, he should’ve been the first to condemn Lopez and Silver. He is more concerned with advancing his own political career than he is with doing what’s best for the women of New York. This is yet another example of the corrupt, good ole’ boys game being played in Albany.”
The Lopez case is not the first time Speaker Silver has blatantly disregarded the sexual abuse of women in the State Legislature. In 2001, Silver authorized a $500,000 settlement, after his Legislative Counsel Michael Boxley was arrested and pleaded guilty to sexual misconduct.
“The culture of sexual abuse toward women employees by men in power in the Legislature, which has been not only tolerated but enabled by Sheldon Silver is deplorable. Our New York women deserve better.”