Assembly Ethics Committee Subpoenaed in Lopez Case
Subpoenas have been issued to members of the New York State Ethics and Guidance Committee as the investigation continues into the state Assembly’s handling of allegations of sexual harassment against Assemblyman Vito Lopez.
The Times Union reports that two members of the Ethics and Guidance Committee have already spoken with the Joint Commission on Public Ethics, or JCOPE though all four Democrats and four Republicans on the committee have been issued subpoenas.
Though JCOPE’s probe of the Lopez matter began as an investigation of the allegations against the Assemblyman, the Commission subsequently voted to examine how harassment complaints against the Brooklyn Democrat were handled by Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver. Shortly after the allegations against Lopez first surfaced on August 24th, reports revealed that Silver had authorized a confidential $135,000 settlement with two other female Lopez employees.
Lopez continues to maintain his innocence but has opted to not seek another term as chairman of the Brooklyn Democratic Party. Silver has already stripped Lopez of his chairmanship of the Housing Committee and ordered him to attend sexual harassment training.