NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — Disgraced former New York state Assemblyman Vito Lopez has died.
Lopez’s lawyer, Gerald Lefcourt, said Lopez died Monday at Memorial Sloan-Kettering hospital. He was 74 and had been treated at Sloan-Kettering for cancer for several years.
Lopez resigned from the Assembly in 2013 over allegations of sexually harassing young women on his staff.
Reports from a special prosecutor and the state Joint Commission on Public Ethics detailed allegations that Lopez forced his hand up a woman’s leg, tried to coerce women to share hotel rooms with him, asked them to touch tumors on his neck and required them to write flattering and flirtatious memos to him that he later tried to use to discredit their accusations.
He had been a member of the Assembly for 30 years and was the influential chairman of the Brooklyn Democratic Party organization.
Lopez denied the accusations, but he resigned rather than face an expulsion proceeding.
After resigning from the Assembly, Lopez ran for a seat in the New York City Council in 2013 but lost to Antonio Reynoso.
Lefcourt said Lopez was a trained social worker who “never forgot his roots.” He said Lopez fought for working people and seniors in his district.
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