ALBANY, N.Y. (CBSNewYork/AP) – New York taxpayers are expected to pick up the bill in civil lawsuits aimed at the state Assembly and Speaker Sheldon Silver over a $103,000 secret settlement of sexual harassment claims.
Under New York law, the state defends elected officials who acted in their official capacity.
That’s expected to include lawsuits already filed involving the sexual harassment claims against former Assemblyman Vito Lopez of Brooklyn. He’s accused by several women staffers of intimidation and unwanted advances.
Last year, Silver crafted a settlement using $103,000 in public money to end the first claims against Lopez. After the second set of claims was made, Silver censured Lopez and took away his perks of seniority.
Silver has said he made mistakes and is seeking reforms.
Over the weekend, a Republican legislator blasted the use of state funds to cover the legal fees.
“I was completely outraged,” said Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis (R-Staten Island).
Lopez paid $32,000 on top of the $103,000 of public money in the settlement crafted by Silver for the first women who accused Lopez of groping, sexual harassment, and retaliation when they refused him.
The women, Victoria Burhans and Chloe Rivera, claimed Silver and his staff made no attempt to investigate Lopez or to try to protect the women on Lopez’s staff.
Malliotakis said as a result of the legal issues, taxpayers could be stuck with a six-figure bill.
You May Also Be Interested In These Stories
- Green Party Candidate Jill Stein Escorted Off Hofstra Campus Before Presidential Debate
- ‘Bridgegate’ Trial: Star Government Witness David Wildstein Returns To The Stand
- New Exhibit Commemorates Pope Francis’s Visit To Madison Square Garden
- Sources: NYPD Officer Indicted In July 4 Shooting That Killed Man In Brooklyn
(TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)