Common Cause/NY Statement on Assembly Member Vito Lopez

For Immediate Release:

Contact: Susan Lerner

August 24, 2012


Common Cause/NY Statement on Assembly Member Vito Lopez

Good Government Watchdog Calls for JCOPE Investigation and Lopez’ Resignation

Assembly Member Vito Lopez’ shocking and abhorrent sexual misconduct demands a swift and strong penalty. Speaker Silver has acted judiciously by adopting the Standing Committee of Ethics and Guidance’s appropriate sanctions, stripping the powerful assembly member of his committee chairmanship and seniority. We particularly applaud the courage of the two unnamed employees of the State Assembly for coming forward with their complaints against a powerful senior member of the Assembly. It is clear that Assembly Member Lopez should resign not only from the Assembly but also from his chairmanship of the Kings County Democratic Party.

It is often the case that those who feel empowered to sexually harass one or two employees fail to stop there. It may well be that this is only the most recent instance of Assembly Member Lopez’ gross misconduct. We call on the Joint Committee for Public Integrity to conduct the necessary broad investigation to assure New Yorkers and other employees of the State Legislature that such conduct will not be tolerated.