New York Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver has issued an apology for his handling of a sexual harassment case that spanned years involving at least four women staffers before it was detected.
Silver specifically apologized for the $103,000 secret settlement he crafted last summer to end the first accusations against Assemblyman Vito Lopez and for failing to stop subsequent incidents claimed by more women staffers.
"That I allowed this system to be bypassed in the first instance, even though I believed we were acting in good faith, was a failure on my part," said Silver.
Lopez resigned effective Monday morning. But Silver still faced some calls for him to step down.
He announced several reforms that would keep the Assembly leaders out of any future ethics investigations, prohibit cash settlements, and establish an independent investigator.
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