Saturday, October 6, 2012

Albany Hush Fund Cover Up, Press Containment Timeline

Court Rules to Protect Silver's From Sexual Abuser Lopez

From Hush Funds to Court Media Cover-Ups
Silver’s robed protector (NYDN Ed) In an ridiculous ruling, a judge shields the Assembly speaker. The Daily News writes that a judge’s decision to toss a lawsuit accusing Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver of failing to protect two women from sexual harassment by Vito Lopez is preposterous: The undeserved breaks keep coming for Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver. In a preposterous ruling, Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Joan Kenney dismissed a lawsuit that accused Silver of failing to protect two young women from sexual harassment by former Assemblyman Vito Lopez. There’s no question that Silver exposed the women to Lopez’ predations by conspiring to cover up previous misconduct. But Kenney let Silver off on the ground that the Assembly was, somehow, not the women’s employer.Never mind that Silver’s sexual harassment policy stated that state and federal laws imposed “legal responsibilities upon every Assembly employee as well as the Assembly itself as employer.”Several elected judges stepped aside from handling a case involving Silver, one of Manhattan’s most powerful Democrats. Kenney should have done the same. More on the Albany Hush Fund Cover Up, Press Containment Timeline 

Silver Pushes Legal Moreland Cover-Up As Hush Fund Fades
As the media loses interested of the Albany's Hush Fund Scandal with the resignation of Assemblyman Gabryszak and the decision of Assemblyman Kellner not to seek re-election.  With the expected guilty plea of Met Council's Rapfogel with no investigation of Silver or the pay to play elected officials who funded Rapfogel's none-profit in exchange for campaign contributions, another speakers scandal will soon fade from the media attention. 



Silver Struggles to Escape Sexual Harass Kellner That End His Speakership


Speaker Silver taps prominent ex-judge, lobbyist to handle Kellner's sex harass appeal.(NYP)  Former state Court of Appeals Judge Howard Levine, a senior counsel at the Albany firm, was selected by Silver in January to handle the unprecedented appeal from Assemblyman Micah Kellner. Former state Court of Appeals Judge Howard Levine was senior counsel at a prominent lobbying firm that donated thousands to Assembly Democrats, and now he will handle the appeal of Assemblyman Micah Kellner, who is accused of violating Assembly policy barring inappropriate comments.Since being hired as the hearing officer, Levine has also involved two members of his firm, Whiteman Osterman & Hanna. The firm has dished out thousands in campaign contributions since 2008 to members of both parties in both houses of the Legislature, including $7,500 to Silver, records show.The firm also has given $13,741 to the Assembly Democratic Campaign Committee — controlled by Silver — and another $2,500 to Assemblywoman Deborah Glick.

Court Rules to Protect Silver's Assembly From Serial Sexual Abuser Lopez

From Hush Funds to Court Media Cover-Ups
Silver’s robed protector (NYDN Ed) In an ridiculous ruling, a judge shields the Assembly speaker. The Daily News writes that a judge’s decision to toss a lawsuit accusing Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver of failing to protect two women from sexual harassment by Vito Lopez is preposterous: The undeserved breaks keep coming for Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver. In a preposterous ruling, Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Joan Kenney dismissed a lawsuit that accused Silver of failing to protect two young women from sexual harassment by former Assemblyman Vito Lopez. There’s no question that Silver exposed the women to Lopez’ predations by conspiring to cover up previous misconduct. But Kenney let Silver off on the ground that the Assembly was, somehow, not the women’s employer.Never mind that Silver’s sexual harassment policy stated that state and federal laws imposed “legal responsibilities upon every Assembly employee as well as the Assembly itself as employer.”Several elected judges stepped aside from handling a case involving Silver, one of Manhattan’s most powerful Democrats. Kenney should have done the same.

 Albany Hush Fund Cover Up, Press Containment Timeline
State Assembly not liable in Vito Lopez grope suit: judge(NYP) The state Assembly is off the hook for Vito Lopez’s groping of staffers, a Manhattan judge ruled Tuesday. Judge Joan Kenney tossed a Manhattan civil lawsuit filed by two female staffers of the deposed Brooklyn assemblyman, ruling that the legislative body could not be held liable for the politician’s behavior because it was not the women’s employer.  She acknowledged allegations that the Assembly didn’t properly address the prior complaints — an action that could have prevented more incidents — but said there was no evidence that other lawmakers “aided or abetted Lopez’s discriminatory conduct.”  Kenney also wrote that because the elected politicians “have no ownership interest in the Assembly itself,” the body can’t be considered an employer for the purposes of the suit. A second, parallel case is still pending in federal court by the two women against Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and against Lopez. A state ethics commission found last year that Lopez had accosted at least eight staffers with an unrelenting volley of lurid come-ons since 2010. The women’s attorney, Kevin Mintzer, vowed to re-file the state suit, amending it to show the Assembly as a whole was responsible for their safety because it published a sexual harassment handbook for all members and technically paid their salaries.*Judge tosses suit vs. Assembly for Vito Lopez’ harrassment(NYDN) A judge ruled that the Assembly is not responsible for claims of sexual harassment against former Assemblyman Vito Lopez, although the legislative body did not properly address prior complaints

Albany's Pink Wall of Silence Continues

Women Pols and Groups Remain Silent
NY's Women's Groups & Women Pols More Interested in Political Power Than Cleaning Up Sexual Abuse in Albany 






Another Pig Kellner is Gone
Assemblyman Micah Kellner, who has been dogged by accusations of sexual harassment, announced that he will not run for reelection, citing his appeal of Assembly sanctions, Politicker reports: * Two candidates hoping to succeed Assemblyman Micah Kellner reacted to the news that hes not seeking re-election. “We commend Mr. Kellner on not seeking reelection because it will help this district and the entire state focus on what is important,” said Ed Hartzog, whose campaign also released audio of Mr. Kellner’s announcement:  A second candidate, Gus Christensen, added: “It has been clear for months that Micah Kellner is no longer capable of representing the Upper East Side and Roosevelt Island in Albany. That’s why today’s decision to retire from the Assembly is the right one, and shows New Yorkers simply will not tolerate sexual harassment from public servants” * Scandal pol Kellner: I’m through(NYP)





Albany's Pink Wall of Silence 
 
 Here's Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver's letter admonishing Micah Kellner, a fellow Democrat Shoe drops for Assemblyman . Ethics Committee finds he violated sexual harassment policy. Silver issues sanctions. * And here's the report of the bipartisan Assembly Ethics Committee saying Kellner created a "hostile work environment"* Kellner was removed as chairman of the Committee on Libraries, which unlike many posts in , doesn't have a special "lulu" stipend.* Micah Kellner Sanctioned For Sexually Harassing Staff Members In 2009...(NYDN) * Ethics board slams ‘harass’ pol Micah Kellner(NYP) * Cuomo: Assemblymen Must Deny Harassment Allegations Or Resign (CBS)* Cuomo challenged Kellner and Gabryszak to deny sexual harassment or resign. Kellner, in a statement, says he'll appeal report.* Cuomo Prods Assemblymen to Resign(NYT) Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo called on the State Assembly to “seriously consider” expelling Micah Z. Kellner and Dennis H. Gabryszak if they did not leave of their own accord.* Cuomo issues an ultimatum(Capital) * An attorney for Assemblyman Dennis Gabryszak said the lawmaker will participate in the Assembly process for investigating ethics complaints.* I think NYS Assemblyman Dennis Gabryszak is getting bad PR advice from his attorney, and I told why. * Two more women are alleging Assemblyman Dennis Gabryszak sexually harassed them, in one case allegedly grabbing one of the women and trying to kiss her, the Times Union writes: * Silver’s black box(NYDN Ed)Another dubious process after another sexual harassment mess in the Assembly * Another Candidate Moves to Challenge Kellner (NYO) * Mayor Says Son Lobbied for Snow Day(NYO) * Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz tweeted his support of Assemblyman Dennis Gabryszak’s latest accuser and said the embattled lawmaker should “immediately” resign.* More come out against latest pervy Albany pol as sex harass allegations mountQUOTE OF THE DAY: “The public trust is eroded by this drip, drip, drip of bad acts, scandals, etc. It erodes the public trust and when you erode the public trust you erode the public trust of government.” – Gov. Andrew Cuomo on the sex scandals plaguing the state Legislature.
Kellner Slammed Violated Sexual Harassment Policy
Assemblyman Micah Kellner can no longer hold leadership positions, including his chairmanship of the Committee on Libraries and Education Technology, or have interns as part of a round of sanctions following a sexual harassment investigation

Daily News Boss Silver Unsafe 
The Daily News writes that the way Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver is dealing with Micah Kellner makes clear that Silver runs a boss-ruled organization that doesn’t know how to police its members or protect its employees:
Kellner Appeals Silver’s Sanctions(YNN)
Cuomo says the sexual harassment allegations against Assemblymen Dennis Gabryszak and Micah Kellner “should be the last straw” and that the Assembly should consider ousting them if they don’t resign*\Kellner Challenges Ethics Committee as Gov. Cuomo Calls for His Resignation 
Assemblyman Micah Kellner’s former chief of staff, who brought forward sexually inappropriate conversations between Kellner and another staffer, continued to email Kellner after she revealed his alleged misconduct, the Daily News’s *Cuomo On Sex Harassment: Don’t Change Leadership, Change The Rules(YNN) * Gov. Cuomo twisting himself into pretzel to protect Sheldon Silver in sex assault scandal.   * A Buffalo TV reporter and former communications director for Assemblyman Dennis Gabryszak is alleging the politician cut her pay when she voiced displeasure with his alleged sexual comments and actions, the Times Union reports: *Seventh Woman Details Accusations Against Gabryszak * Scandal-scarred Assemblyman Dennis Gabryszak did not attend the State of the State, but will reportedly be in Albany for the first session day Monday.

Sexual Abuse Gabryszak Quits Assembly
Assemblyman Dennis Gabryszak on Sunday announced he would "retire" from the Assembly following allegations of sexual harassment from multiple women who worked in his office. Gabryszak at a news conference said the resignation would take effect immediately.  "My decision today is based on the impact that this has had on my family and my concern for the important work of the Assembly," he said. *Assemblyman Announces Retirement Amid Harassment Allegations(CBS) *  NYDN * NYT * WSJ


Sex and the Assemblymen, Pols Gone Wild, Dirty Old Men
Update Rivera Got A Primary
Assemblyman Jose Rivera Throws Fundraiser In The Bronx(NYDN)
Bronx Assemblyman faces challenger due to dirty vacation video(NYDN) Fernando Tirado, the former district manager of Bronx’s Community Board 7, told the Daily News he was convinced to run for the seat after viewing the video, which shows Mr. Rivera chatting up young women in the Dominican Republic. “I am running because I want to present a more positive view of the Bronx,” he told the paper. “If we can’t count on elected officials to raise the profile of the Bronx, then we don’t need them anymore.”
Assemblyman Jose Rivera ogles girls in bizarre video(NYP “Where do you live, what is your street address? What are your body measures?,” the 78-year-old Rivera asks a young woman. In another segment Rivera asks another young woman, “Do you happen to have a little sister?” Rivera had forwarded the video to journalist Gerson Borrero, who posted it on his twitter page. It was then picked up by politicker.com.  



Rivera is accompanied by former Harlem Assemblyman Adam Clayton IV. Powell who is also in the video defended the video as “respectful flirting.” “It’s meant as an educational video,” he said. “A lot of young men don’t know how to flirt.”* NYC Assemblymen behaving badly in Dominican video(NYDN)  A video posted and later deleted of Bronx Assemblyman Jose Rivera shows him ogling women during a 2005 trip to the Dominican Republic, but the lawmaker says he was joking and didn’t mean to offend anyone *  The Daily News writes that Bronx Assemblyman Jose Rivera is a deserving recipient of the New York Knucklehead Award for his actions taped on video during a trip to the Dominican Republic and for posting the video online: * Dirty old man (NYDN) Jose Rivera makes fool of himself for all to see


NYP Remove Sexual Abuse Enabler Silver
Sheldon Silver’s free pass(NYP) Gov. Cuomo is right when he says that removing Sheldon Silver as Assembly speaker wouldn’t end sexual harassment in Albany. But he’s wrong to say dumping Silver wouldn’t make any difference. No one has failed to address the dysfunction and abusive behavior of his members more systematically than Silver.
Yes, Shelly may be singing a different tune these days. On Tuesday, he said that if the allegations of harassment by seven women against Dennis Gabryszak are true, the Upstate assemblyman “should resign, there’s no question about it.”
But the change in tone comes only after multiple examples of Silver having turned a blind eye to harassment and worse by Assembly members and even his own staffers. Worse still, as in the case of Vito Lopez, his first instinct was to cover things up by authorizing a cash “settlement” — i.e., hush money — to the accusers.* Silver doesn’t expect a public hearing for Kellner(Capital)* Female lawmakers say it’s time for the male-dominated Legislature to show it’s serious about protecting female staffers of politically powerful male bosses after repeated cases of sexual misconduct, the Buffalo News writes: * The state’s ethics commission is investigating former Assemblyman Dennis Gabryszak, possibly for misuse of state funds and resources like it did with a probe of former Assemblyman Vito Lopez, the Times Union reports:  * JCOPE investigates former Assemblyman Dennis Gabryszak * The attorney representing six of the seven women who allege former Assemblyman Dennis Gabryszak sexually harassed them said Gabryszak hasn’t taken responsibility for his actions, the Times Union reports:  * The Times Union writes that if the latest sexual harassment allegations involving a state lawmaker is to be more than just another “sordid chapter,” the Assembly needs to re-examine what it does to protect women:* Women claim no remorse in Gabryszak note



The "will he or won’t he?" game involving whether Assemblyman Micah Kellner will return to Albany will continue today, with the focus sharpened by WNY Assemblyman Dennis Gabryszak's Sunday bow-out from the chamber as both face harassment allegations. Manhattan Democrat Kellner was sanctioned last month by Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver after the chamber’s Ethics Committee found he created a hostile work environment and violated the chamber’s sexual harassment policy. He did not attend Gov. Cuomo’s  State of the State address last week. A source close to Kellner said he was sick over the weekend and wasn’t sure if he was going to make it up to Albany this week. The Assembly is scheduled to be in session today and Tuesday. Kellner is seeking to appeal the sanctions imposed by Silver.

More on the Albany Hush Fund Cover Up
 More on Sheldon Silver
 
Albany Hush Fund Cover Up, Press Containment Timeline 



Russian Pussy Riot Courage Lacking in NY

Mission Not Accomplished 
NY's Women's Groups & Women Pols More Interested in Political Power Than Cleaning Up Sexual Abuse in Albany

Eleanor’s Legacy joins Gloria Steinem, NOW-NYS’s Zenaida Mendez and NOW-NYC’s Sonia Ossorio and others in support of Councilwoman Melissa Mark-Viverito for Speaker of the New York City Council, City Hall Park, Manhattan* The late-term abortion bill will destroy AMC's political career. Is NY's Women’s Equality Act Dead?

Why the silence from women's groups, especially those that rallied against @Spitzer2013 & Vito Lopez Council run
Feminist Gloria Steinem and some women’s groups backed Melissa Mark-Viverito for New York City Council speaker, while four female Council members are supporting Dan Garodnick, the Daily News reports:  * Women rally for Mark-Viverito(Capital) Politicians and activists turn out for their speaker, pressing for paid sick leave

. & standing together for women & standing up for for

Pussy Riot More Courage 
Freed Pussy Riot member Nadya Tolokonnikova speaks to BuzzFeed: "There is no new Putin." (Buzz Feed)* Members of Pussy Riot Mock Vladimir Putin on Their Way Out of Prison(NY Mag) * Gloria Steinem Joins Women’s Groups to Push Melissa Mark-Viverito


Another Assemblyman Accused of Sexual Harassment 
Where are the Women's Groups?
Update Silver: Buffalo lawmaker must resign if perv charges stick(NYP) * The Buffalo News writes that Assemblyman Dennis Gabryszak should either forcefully deny the sexual harassment charges he faces or resign, but remaining silent isn’t helping him if he is innocent:
‘Perv’ pol should quit: Cuomo(NYP)
Details Of Allegations Against Gabryszak(YNN) * Gabryszak Case Formally Sent To Ethics Committee(YNN) * GOP Blames Cuomo For Assembly Harassment(YNN) * Assemblyman Dennis Gabryszak, now facing sexual harassment allegations, spoke out against workplace bullying and harassment in 2012. * A decade of Albany sex scandals.* Assemblywoman Sandra Galef ripped the “inappropriate behavior” in the Legislature. “As lawmakers, we make the laws with the expectation that we, of all people, will follow these laws. We must be held to a higher standard.”* One more pig (NYDN Ed) Yet another sexual harassment scandal at the state Capitol * Silver: No knowledge of latest sex-harassment claims(Capital) * Silver: We don’t test for ‘bad apples’(Capital)
Speaker says member should resign if charges are true * QUOTE OF THE DAY:  “The allegations are serious, there is no question about it. If the allegations are true then I think there should be no other choice but a resignation.” – Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver on the sexual harassment allegations against Assemblyman Dennis Gabryszak, via State of Politics.*  Another female aide to Assemblyman Dennis Gabryszak is coming forward to complain about his allegedly lurid advances* * Assemblyman Dennis Gabryszak’s community relations director plans to file a notice of claim that accuses him of sexual harassment, the fourth woman to make such a complaint, the Times Union reports: * Fourth Gabryszak Accuser Comes Forward(YNN) * Sex suits mount against Assemblyman Dennis Gabryszak(NYDN)
A fourth staffer, Caitrin Kennedy, 24, has filed legal papers accusing the Democrat of creating a 'hostile and offensive work environment.'* 'If hookers unionize, I won't be able to afford them!' 4th woman accuses Buffalo-area Assemblyman of lurid and sexually-charged come-ons* Gabryszak has received sensitivity training multiple times under a biannual course required by Silver that trains all Assembly members on what constitutes sexual harassment, the Times Union’s Jim Odato writes: * Shocking! Not the Speaker? "...some women didn't think they could rely on Silver to back them up." (TU) * State Assembly To Keep Interns Away From Accused Sexual Harasser Dennis Gabryszak  * Assembly Women Renew Call For 10-Point Agenda(YNN) * Democratic women lawmakers assail GOP men 4 regulating women's wombs but silent re Democratic male gropers


  1. A simple request: for all Assemblymembers: if you've been harassing staff-leave. If allegations against MA Gabryszak are true-resign.
  2. . A simple request: if you've been covering up harassment-leave. If you've been rationalizing the cover-up-resign
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Sex Harassment Cover Up Albany Culture
COUNCIL RIVAL TO CHALLENGE KELLNER: Assemblyman Micah Kellner and Ed Hartzog both lost to Ben Kallos in a New York City Council race this year, and now Hartzog is running against Kellner for his Assembly seat * Three former aides to Assemblyman Dennis Gabryszak accuse him of sexually harassing them and allege that top legislative aides did nothing when the women brought their claims to them, the Times Union reports: * The Assembly Ethics Committee will investigate sexual harassment allegations against Buffalo-area Assemblyman Dennis Gabryszak, and the Assembly Speaker’s office said it takes such allegations seriously, Gannett Albany writes * Erie County Democratic Chair Jeremy Zellner said that Gabryszak should resign if the sexual harassment allegations against him are true, State of Politics writes: 

There's a culture in Albany which sees a member's staff as perks of the office
Pol sent staff video of ‘oral sex’(NYP)* 3 Aides Say Assemblyman Sexually Harassed Them(NYT) * State Republican Chairman Ed Cox wasted little time to attack Silver over the new controversy. “While Sheldon Silver was fighting to hold power this summer after revelations that he covered up sexual abuse, yet another member of his Democrat caucus was abusing young female staff members," said Cox.”* Former Staffers Hit Upstate Assemblyman with Long List of Sexual Harassment Claims (NY Mag) * @NickReisman @RobAstorino is absolutely right. There's a culture in Albany which sees a member's staff as perks of the office.

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Albany Hush Fund Cover Up Lawsuit

Here's a copy of the contract between the Assembly and the firm it hired to handle the Lopez-related lawsuits 

Staff in the AG Office Could Be Called As Witnesses
“As I explained in our prior conversations, we have concluded it would be inappropriate to have the Attorney General represent the speaker in these matters,” Levine wrote. “Among other things, in these matters, staff of the Office of the Attorney General may potentially be called as witness.”* A state Assembly attorney asked the state attorney general’s office to represent the chamber and Speaker Sheldon Silver, who faced lawsuits in the Vito Lopez sexual harassment scandal, State of Politics writes:

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A Tale of Two Sexual Harassments

NYP Says Silver Should Consider Himself Lucky He Is Not A Navy Officer On the Sexual Harassment Issue
The Post questions why U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand’s moral outrage over sexual misbehavior in the military does not extend to the reports of sexual harassment in the state Assembly





















Gillibrand Sexual Harassment Hypocrisy
Sex, Silver and the Senator(NYP Ed) Kirsten Gillibrand has made sexual misbehavior in the military her signature issue. New York’s junior senator is pushing an amendment to next year’s military budget, expected for a vote in Congress some time after Thanksgiving, that would take sexual- assault cases out of the military chain of command. These cases would instead be tried by uniformed special prosecutors. Our military-justice system is broken,” says the senator. But what about her home-state Legislature, where Assembly Speaker Shelly Silver doled out taxpayer dollars to hush up women who came to him with reports of sexual harassment from members? Given Gillibrand’s intense focus on this issue, one might think her moral-outrage meter would be blinking red about our Assembly’s own harassment problems. Guess again. When Gillibrand was asked earlier this year whether Silver should keep his speakership, she punted. Silver’s fitness as speaker, she said, was something best left to the state Assembly to decide for itself. Silver can count himself lucky that he is not a Navy officer. Because the message Sen. Gillibrand is sending here is that she trusts New York’s state politicians in Albany to do the right thing more than she trusts the officers of the US Armed Forces.

Albany Hush Fund Cover Up, Press Containment Timeline 

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Albany Hush Fund Cover Up Lawsuit


Here's a copy of the contract between the Assembly and the firm it hired to handle the Lopez-related lawsuits

Staff in the AG Office Could Be Called As Witnesses
“As I explained in our prior conversations, we have concluded it would be inappropriate to have the Attorney General represent the speaker in these matters,” Levine wrote. “Among other things, in these matters, staff of the Office of the Attorney General may potentially be called as witness.”* A state Assembly attorney asked the state attorney general’s office to represent the chamber and Speaker Sheldon Silver, who faced lawsuits in the Vito Lopez sexual harassment scandal, State of Politics writes:


True News Guest Columnist

Will Micah Kellner Return to Albany?  
By Charmian Neary
Rejected by the voters of his district in an attempt to get out of Albany – not that I blame him – preemptively before he was turned out  in the same ignominious manner as the big P pervert Vito Lopez he was defeated in his council run – caught up in those pesky changing mores.   It is hard to win on the upper Eastside when the NY Times endorses your opponent and says you are being investigated for sexual harassment by the Joint Commission on Public Ethics in Albany. Micah Kellner will now be returning to Albany -- back to the welcoming arms of Shelly Silver’s Assembly.  Where treating young women staffers like chattel seems to be a quaint hold over from the good old days which newly elected members can’t wait to emulate, kind of like bowties or cigars or fake parking passe


Glick Sees Nothing?
There is a big problem for Kellner, however. In one of those only in Albany serendipitous (for Shelly) occurrences – it was only after Kellner was among a handful of members who questioned Silver’s handling of sexual harassment cases under his watch that Silver’s mini-me, Deborah Glick, “heard”  a rumor about Kellner dating back to 2009.  The rumor, that Glick “heard” in early June, but somehow didn’t mention during the end- of-session WEA lovefest, was that that Kellner made life miserable for a young woman in his office. In a twist, he also made life miserable for a young man in a separate incident. There were complaints made at the time, 2009, but Silver’s ever loyal henchman William Collins fell on his sword and “admitted” that he never told Shelly about it – for 4 long years- and he took a cushy retirement.


So of course when all the professional feminists were fawning over Silver in June as the “idol” of women and their “health decisions” Shelly Mr. Roarke” Silver and Deborah “Tattoo” Glick were sitting on this thing with their sorry old behinds and soaking up the accolades. How will Kellner be treated in Silver’s Albany when he has nothing to lose and knows, I imagine , other dirty secrets Shelly’s been sitting on, in stubborn defiance of JCOPE, and now the Moreland Commission?


Will NOW_NYC head up to Albany and protest Kellner yet continue to laud Silver – who hid Kellner’s case from them in June? Will they still lionize Deborah Glick -- who sneered at the women’s groups in the papers saying they lacked “political sophistication” (presumably because they actually wanted to get some legislation beneficial to women passed this year-- rather than fail and have it to use against Republicans next year.)    What will JCOPE and MORELAND do about Collins, Glick and Silver deceiving them? Will they state the obvious and call Silver's actions criminal?   If what is past is prologue, Albany will freeze over before Hell does.  Silver will survive this investigation as well.


 Sexual Harassment Victims Accuse Silver of A Cover Up

Silver was an “aider and abettor” of alleged groping that former Vito Lopez inflicted on his staff, two former employees claimed in a court filing

Ex-Vito Lopez staffers accuse Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver of coverup (NYP) Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver was an “aider and abettor” of the alleged groping and unwanted come-ons that disgraced former Brooklyn Assemblyman Vito Lopez inflicted on two staffers, the women claimed yesterday in a new court filing. * "In Albany, where even transparency is discussed in secret…" * Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver was an “aider and abettor” of the alleged groping and unwanted come-ons that Lopez inflicted on two staffers, the women claimed in a new court filing.***Vito Lopez to sue over $300G sexual harassment fine he claims is 'excessive'(NYDN) In response to Silver's motion to dismiss?

Albany's Women's Wrongs

    1. Can't make this stuff up:"Today the celebrates Women’s Equality Day by continuing...fight for full women’s equality."
    2. The Assembly makes stuff up all the time. They've employed a whole staff of maker uppers led by Whyland.
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Silver's Cover Up of A Cover Up

Will the Woman Remain Silent As Silver's Lawyers Attempt To Cover Up the Hush Fund Cover Up?

Silver, arguing that his mishandling of past complaints against Vito Lopez is legally irrelevant
Speaker Sheldon Silver and Assembly seek to quash Vito Lopez-related sex harassment lawsuits(NYDN) Accusers Victoria Burhans and Chloe Rivera contend Silver's signing off on earlier settlements with previous accusers of Assemblyman Lopez put them at risk. Lawyers for Silver and the Assembly say the Speaker took 'swift and effective' action * Women behind Silver (TU) Female Democrats say their concerns as a bloc are getting noticed. In papers filed last week in federal and state court, Mr. Silver’s lawyers argued the suits should be dismissed because Mr. Silver took “swift and effective” action after the women’s complaints.* Vito Lopez admits doctoring Hillary Clinton pic, says "I don't know how that's a problem."

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Team Silver Circles the Wagons
If the Daily News is Serious With Getting Rid of Silver They Should Send Their Reports to Ask Assemblymembers Why They Are  Supporting Their Speaker

Pay to Play Save Silver Ass
Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver said he would continue to serve as long as the members of the chamber want him to be Speaker, and rank and file members at Somos said Silver has 100 percent support from the conference, NY1 reports: 
* Three NYC Democratic Chairs Shoot Down Talk Of Replacing NY Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver(NYDN) 



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Sexual Harassment Kellner Running

Manhattan Has A Joe Hynes
Wife Dumps Micah
Assemblyman Kellner’s wife dumps him(NYP)
Micah Kellner Files Paperwork Indicating He’ll Pursue General Election(NYO) Kellner lost his highly-charged primary contest to opponent Ben Kallos by about 6 percent following revelations that a sexual harassment complaint was once filed against him. The Working Families Party, which endorsed Mr. Kellner long before his loss, has since voted to endorse Mr. Kallos in the general.WFP said We call on Micah Kellner to stand down from this futile and foolish endeavor.”* Scandal-plagued Kellner running on party line that’s disowned him(NYP) * Scandal-scarred Assemblyman Micah Kellner is burning more bridges is continuing his NYC Council run on the Working Families Party line in the general election even though he lost the Democratic primary and the labor-backed party has disowned him.* With a legit Republican also in the mix, that race could be interesting.* One former rival, Ed Hartzog, endorsed Kallos. [LongIslandExchange]* Assemblyman Micah Kellner was dumped by his wife, Marie Ternes, a political consultant and former aide to ex-Rep. Anthony Weiner, after losing the Democratic primary for Manhattan’s Upper East Side council seat amid sex-harassment allegations.* One editorial page said Assemblyman Micah Kellner "needs to go away. Quickly," and not run on the Working Families Party line for City Council. [Observer] * Council candidate lost the Dem primary, just got $88K in public matching funds - most of any awarded today. Needs every penny.* Assemblyman Joe Borelli announced he would introduce legislation to close a loophole that would allow unpaid interns to file sexual harassment claims against oppressive superiors, Politicker writes: 
Micah Kellner gets public funds for an unsanctioned Working Families run (Capital)


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The Sharks View to A Kellner Takedown
Update  Upper East Siders Eye Kellner’s Assembly Seat(NYO)
In a primary, he's not merely vulnerable to a challenge, he's pretty much dead meat--that is, if it is "A" challenge. If he has multiple opponents, he could win, but then he will lose the general to a credible moderate Republican, if they run one. Our Town looked at what happened to Assemblyman Micah Kellner, who waged a seemingly quixotic City Council campaign after losing his Democratic primary this year to Ben Kallos.* After sexual harassment allegations sunk him in the Democratic Primary for City Council on Manhattan’s Upper East Side, Kellner opted to go all in on the self-destruction of his political career, staying on the Working Families Party line in the general election, despite the WFP’s vehement objection. The end result? Kellner pulled a measly 10 percent of the vote—over 20 points less than the GOP candidate, and more than 45 points fewer than the winner, Ben Kallos. Now Kellner gets to return to frosty Albany to wallow in isolation, while he awaits an inevitable primary challenge to his Assembly seat in 2014. * Sharks are circling around Assemblyman Micah Kellner.* Micah Kellner's Wife Files Divorce Papers(NYDN)


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Lawsuit Fingers Silver Harassment Plot

Silver Tries to Kill Hush Fund  Lawsuit





















Two women who accused Vito Lopez of sexual harassment filed a legal brief Tuesday opposing Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver's motion to quash their federal suit, arguing that Silver condoned Lopez’s prior mistreatment of women, the New York Post writes:
 
Vito accusers tarnish Silver(NYP)

Two women who accused former Assemblyman Vito Lopez of sexual harassment filed a legal brief Tuesday opposing Sheldon Silver’s motion to quash their federal suit holding the Assembly speaker responsible…the plaintiffs argued they wouldn’t have been harassed if Silver hadn’t condoned Lopez’s prior mistreatment of women. “No reasonable person in Silver’s position could have believed it was lawful to assist Lopez in concealing his unlawful harassment,” their lawyer, Kevin Mintzer, said in Manhattan federal court papers.* The legal fight over ex-Assemblyman Vito Lopez‘s sexual harassment scandal is still ongoing and two of his alleged victims filed a legal brief yesterday to try and kill Speaker Shelly Silver‘s motion to dismiss the entire case.
Weprin Supports Silver, See Nothing Wrong

Weprin's comments here are the root of the problem. I don't care if Shelly loves his job. He's corrupt to the core and ineffective - he has to go. The fact that Weprin sees the problem as "the media" without focusing on the facts behind the very mild "attacks" says something about Weprin.  WE like the speaker because he covers up our failures and corruption? Is that what he's saying? 
Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver joined his fellow Democrats at Somos, and was said by Queens Assemblyman David Weprin to have “pretty much 100 percent support” from his conference members despite numerous problems in recent months. 


 _____________________________________
The Sharks View to A Kellner Takedown
Update  Upper East Siders Eye Kellner’s Assembly Seat(NYO)
In a primary, he's not merely vulnerable to a challenge, he's pretty much dead meat--that is, if it is "A" challenge. If he has multiple opponents, he could win, but then he will lose the general to a credible moderate Republican, if they run one. Our Town looked at what happened to Assemblyman Micah Kellner, who waged a seemingly quixotic City Council campaign after losing his Democratic primary this year to Ben Kallos.* After sexual harassment allegations sunk him in the Democratic Primary for City Council on Manhattan’s Upper East Side, Kellner opted to go all in on the self-destruction of his political career, staying on the Working Families Party line in the general election, despite the WFP’s vehement objection. The end result? Kellner pulled a measly 10 percent of the vote—over 20 points less than the GOP candidate, and more than 45 points fewer than the winner, Ben Kallos. Now Kellner gets to return to frosty Albany to wallow in isolation, while he awaits an inevitable primary challenge to his Assembly seat in 2014. * Sharks are circling around Assemblyman Micah Kellner.* Micah Kellner's Wife Files Divorce Papers(NYDN)



The Same Media That is Hunting Weiner and His Wife Allows Albany to Abuse Woman
Latest sex scandal on Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver’s watch: Assemblyman Micah Kellner made life ’horrible’ for young staffer, says source  (NYDN)
“It was horrible,” said a source who worked in Kellner’s office at the time. “It was a terrible poisonous situation.” * NY Pol Micah Kellner Joins the #PenisPolitics Parade(Daily Kos) * Glick, who alerted the Assembly Speaker’s office of a sexual harassment allegation against Assemblyman Micah Kellner, said she didn’t bring it to an ethics committee because it was a rumor, State of Politics reports  * Senate Minority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins says there is a culture of sexual harassment that is disturbing and “an ongoing situation.”


No Media Outrage of Albany's Sex Scandals Cover Ups
Sexual harassment and tolerance go together in Albany. You have to wonder what Assembly attorney Bill Collins has on Shelly Silver that the speaker would keep him on the payroll after the lawyer turned a blind eye to more sex harassment in the Legislature. The mind leaps to plenty. Let it not speculate. Let’s stick with the facts. They are as follows: While under fire for covering up Vito Lopez’s abusiveness toward female aides — a coverup executed by Collins — Silver has issued the lawyer paychecks for more than seven weeks after learning that Collins had squashed a detailed account of harassment by Manhattan Democratic Assemblyman Micah Kellner.

Another Lawsuit Against Speaker Silver
Extras: A lawsuit against Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver for his role in securing a $103,000 settlement money... A judge heard arguments over Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver’s $103,000 payment to females who accused former Assemblyman Vito Lopez of sexual harassment, which a critic said Silver should reimburse. Bob Schulz had accused Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver of "a bit of trickery," making insincere public comments on his opposition to sexual harassment after he approved the settlement, and of "misleading the court." At one point Schulz called Silver's argument "hogwash."

 _____________________________________
Team Silver Circles the Wagons
If the Daily News is Serious With Getting Rid of Silver They Should Send Their Reports to Ask Assemblymembers Why They Are  Supporting Their Speaker

Pay to Play Save Silver Ass
Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver said he would continue to serve as long as the members of the chamber want him to be Speaker, and rank and file members at Somos said Silver has 100 percent support from the conference, NY1 reports: 
* Three NYC Democratic Chairs Shoot Down Talk Of Replacing NY Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver(NYDN)

 _____________________________________
Lawsuit Fingers Silver Harassment Plot

Silver Tries to Kill Hush Fund  Lawsuit































Two women who accused Vito Lopez of sexual harassment filed a legal brief Tuesday opposing Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver's motion to quash their federal suit, arguing that Silver condoned Lopez’s prior mistreatment of women, the New York Post writes:
 
Vito accusers tarnish Silver(NYP)

Two women who accused former Assemblyman Vito Lopez of sexual harassment filed a legal brief Tuesday opposing Sheldon Silver’s motion to quash their federal suit holding the Assembly speaker responsible…the plaintiffs argued they wouldn’t have been harassed if Silver hadn’t condoned Lopez’s prior mistreatment of women. “No reasonable person in Silver’s position could have believed it was lawful to assist Lopez in concealing his unlawful harassment,” their lawyer, Kevin Mintzer, said in Manhattan federal court papers.* The legal fight over ex-Assemblyman Vito Lopez‘s sexual harassment scandal is still ongoing and two of his alleged victims filed a legal brief yesterday to try and kill Speaker Shelly Silver‘s motion to dismiss the entire case.
Weprin Supports Silver, See Nothing Wrong

Weprin's comments here are the root of the problem. I don't care if Shelly loves his job. He's corrupt to the core and ineffective - he has to go. The fact that Weprin sees the problem as "the media" without focusing on the facts behind the very mild "attacks" says something about Weprin.  WE like the speaker because he covers up our failures and corruption? Is that what he's saying? 
Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver joined his fellow Democrats at Somos, and was said by Queens Assemblyman David Weprin to have “pretty much 100 percent support” from his conference members despite numerous problems in recent months. 







The Daily News calls for Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver to step down as speaker after allegedly helping to conceal sexual harassment claims against Assemblyman Micah Kellner and ex-assemblyman Vito Lopez: 

Silver backed Boxley when a previous accuser had accused him of rape two years earlier. 


Charmian Neary ‏@CharmianNeary
 

Once again Paper Tiger @nyc_now pres.Sonia Ossorio refrains from criticizing THE ROOT OF THE PROBLEM Sheldon Silver

When Sexual Harassment Worlds Collide
Insiders say that the Kellner investigation could increase the pressure on embattled Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver to resign, since Silver’s counsel failed to pursue legal action on past harassment complaints against Kellner 

JCOPE wants to know why the Assembly failed to disclose Kellner case in response to subpoena
Assemblyman Micah Kellner sexual harassment probe may hurt Speaker Silver if ethics commission uncovers dirty secrets. The probe comes after it was revealed last month that Kellner’s former chief of staff Eliyanna Kaiser brought allegations to Silver counsel Bill Collins in 2009 that the Manhattan Democrat had sexually inappropriate online conversations with a young woman on his staff. Even though Kaiser provided Collins with 15 pages of transcripts of the online chats, Collins never pursued the matter. After the issue became public, Silver said Collins never alerted him to the situation at the time and that he first heard about it in June, after it was brought to his attention by Assemblywoman Deborah Glick (D-Manhattan). * State Ethics Panel Opens an Inquiry Into a Sexual Harassment Cover-Up(NYT) * Sources say that the state Joint Commission on Public Ethics have launched an investigation into sexual harassment allegations against Assemblyman Micah Kellner, with subpoenas delivered to his former staffers, NY1 reports * “Assemblyman Charles Lavine, the chairman of the ethics committee, is seen by many as compromised. During the investigation of Mr. Lopez, he privately urged [JCOPE] to extensively edit its investigative report.” *  Now Carolyn Maloney disappears from Kellner's endorsement list, too * The Allegations Against Kellner(YNN)
* Friday Update Silver in more ‘harass’ hot water(NYP)  “We expect JCOPE [the ethics panel] will conduct a full investigation that identifies how and when the Assembly leadership failed to take sexual harassment seriously and how it failed to follow their own protocol on handling these cases,” said Sonia Ossorio, president of the National Organization for Women NYC.* Assemblyman Micah Kellner made repeated sexual advances to a male staffer, telling the employee that he had “pretty hands”, later alienating the staffer after he confronted Kellner, which led him to quit his job, the Daily News reports:
The Lenox Hill Democratic Club is sticking with embattled Assemblyman Micah Kellner.





4/14/2013

Who is Vito Lopez Blackmailing?
232 Days After NYT Reported Vito Lopez Hush Fund Scandal and Vito is Still In Office
And Running for City Council

Before Censure, a Hushed Settlement Against Assemblyman(NYT)
 Albany Hush Fund Cover Up, Press Containment Timeline(True News)





3/11/2013
___________________________________________________________________________________
Killing the Vito Lopez Monster

Media Almost Calls Vito A Child Molester as JCOPE and the Albany Ethic Committee Remains Silent . . . Is Lopez Blackmailing Someone?

Revolting Assemblyman Vito Lopez dreamed of living in a place where he could legally bed underage girls: News source(NYDN)The beseiged 71-year-old former Brooklyn Democratic Party boss has been accused of sexually harassing interns in his Assembly office, even suggesting that one of his office hands dress sexier — like his former 14-year-old intern, according to sources. Last Friday, the publication ran, “EXCLUSIVE: Vito Lopez’s ogling of teen intern led to 911 calls by staffer and her mother.”




3/8/2013
___________________________________________________________________________________
Vito Lopez Child Abuse?


Albany Uses the Media to Pound Lopez . . .  Why Won't Albany Kick Him Out?
The intern was the daughter of Lopez crony Pamela Fisher, a Brooklyn judge whom Lopez helped put on the bench

Vito Lopez allegedly made comments about teen intern, who is daughter of Brooklyn Judge Pamela Fisher. Lopez also told one of his staffers, Chloe Rivera, that she should dress 'sexy' like the 14-year-old intern. A parent of one of Assemblyman Vito Lopez’s staffers called the police last year after the staffer alleged she saw Lopez ogling a 14-year old intern, but the police declined to file charges, the New York Daily News writes  Police received a 911 call on July 16 last year from the concerned mom of 24-year-old

 Chloe Rivera after the staffer said she saw Lopez ogling a young intern — the daughter of a Brooklyn judge. “(Lopez) was telling Chloe that he liked the way this girl was dressed and she was dressed in a very sexy way,” said a source with knowledge of the call. “He wanted Chloe to dress like the intern.” Police declined to file charges against the then-powerful Brooklyn Democratic Party boss, but the incident led to his downfall. It was the last straw for Rivera, prompting her and fellow staffer Victoria Burhans to quit and file a complaint against Lopez with the Assembly ethics commission.RELATED: ASSEMBLYMAN VITO LOPEZ WAS PERV ‘PIG’ FOR YEARS — ETHICS PANEL * NOW NYC to Vito Lopez: Resign(TU)



3/7/2013
___________________________________________________________________________________
Stop Hush Pay for Group Lopez

Bill to outlaw ‘Gropez’ payouts(NYP) Secret settlements like the six-figure payout Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver approved last year to resolve sex-harassment allegations against Assemblyman Vito Lopez would be illegal under a bill an upstate Democrat is pushing. Buffalo Assemblyman Michael Kearns’ legislation bars “sealed, closed or secret settlements of a public body” as well as private settlements in most cases.




3/6/2013
___________________________________________________________________________________
Albany's Secret Ethics Dance
 How to Cover the Speaker Ass and Get Vito Lopez for  Hush Fund Scandal
The Assembly Ethics Committee spent two hours in a closed-door meeting yesterday morning, with committee members refusing to say what was discussed, though speculation is that it involved Vito Lopez’s sexual harassment investigation, the Times-Union reports:



3/3/2013

 Paying Hush Money To Cover Up A Sexual Crime Is Accepted Morality in Albany's Culture



“There is a pervasive culture in Albany that upsets most New Yorkers, that their elected representatives don’t see this as a problem.”
Shel biz as usual (NYP)‘Honored guest’ at prober’s fund-raiser Assembly Speaker. Sheldon Silver yesterday defended his decision to be featured as the “honored guest” at a fund-raiser for the chairman of a legislative ethics panel reviewing Silver’s hush settlement of Vito Lopez’s alleged sexual harassment of young staffers. Government-watchdog groups say the timing of the fund-raiser is suspect and gives the appearance that Lavine, rather than being an independent monitor, is beholden to Silver.



Another Lawsuit Against Speaker Silver
Extras: A lawsuit against Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver for his role in securing a $103,000 settlement money... A judge heard arguments over Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver’s $103,000 payment to females who accused former Assemblyman Vito Lopez of sexual harassment, which a critic said Silver should reimburse: http://bit.ly/1f0dCSq



3/1/2013

Charles Lavine, the co-chairman of a commission reviewing a report on Vito Lopez’s sexual harassment case and Silver’s involvement in it, is holding a fund-raiser featuring Silver next week
Silver's Hush Fund 
Ethics Politics
Gropez-Shel prober is (fund-)raising doubts (NYP) This is what passes for ethics in Albany: The co-chairman of a commission reviewing a 58-page report on disgraced Assemblyman Vito Lopez’s sexual harassment, and Speaker Sheldon Silver’s attempted cover-up, is having a fund-raiser next week— featuring Silver as the “honored guest.” Lavine also co-chairs the Legislative Ethics Commission, which received the Lopez report two weeks ago and will determine which sanctions — if any — to order. Earlier in the week, Staten Island District Attorney Dan Donovan asked the commission to put the report on hold while his office continues a criminal investigation of the case. Good-government groups say having Silver headline the March 5 fund-raiser in Albany will make any conclusion that the commission reaches appear biased.
Albany Hush Fund Cover Up, Press Containment Timeline(True News)
Vito Lopez Uses Government Funds to Run His Machine(True News)


2/27/2013

Vito Lopez Won't Leave

Media Tries Again to Kill Lopez.  So the NYP NYT, NY Magazine On the Same Day Leak More Detail From JCOPE Report. . .  Who Says the Media Does Not Work Together  . . . But For Who and When?

Covers His Tracks 
Gropez made women write him love notes(NYP) As his grip over one of the most powerful Democratic machines in New York was slipping away last summer, Assemblyman Vito Lopez tried to hang on to power by bullying women on his staff to help him whitewash a looming sex-harassment scandal. As soon as complaints against Lopez began to pile up, the assemblyman forced his reluctant female staffers to write fawning and admiring notes about him to create a paper trail that would “cover his tracks.” The letters, e-mails and text messages that were offered up as part of his defense during an ethics probe sang Lopez’s praises, saying how great he was and how eager the staffers were to work or travel with him, sources said. *Ethics Panel Report in Lopez’s Harassment Case Is Withheld The New York State ethics report is said to include descriptions of inappropriate touching by Assemblyman Vito J. Lopez of his female aides that go beyond what was known. * To Fight Scandal, Vito Lopez Allegedly Forced Staffers to Pen ...(NY Mag) *The special prosecutor investigating the sexual harassment scandal involving Assemblyman Vito Lopez has asked the Legislature not to release a state ethics commission report on Lopez, The New York Times writes:  * To Fight Scandal, Vito Lopez Allegedly Forced Staffers to Pen Fawning Notes(NY Mag) * Staten Island D.A. Donovan seeks to delay release of report(SI Advance)


2/15/2013
Vito Lopez: I am Staying and I am Not Supporting Silver for Speaker

Vito Lopez Has to Sit With the Freshmen(NY mag)

Assemblyman Vito Lopez declines to endorse Sheldon Silver as Speaker. Lopez was not in Albany last week for conference vote* Vito Lopez Says He's Staying Despite Sex Harassment Allegations and Health Issues (NYDN) “I won my district after a huge barrage of attacks on allegations,” he told reporters on the floor of the Assembly. “I have a strong mandate to come here and to represent the district. Would you like no one to represent them and me to resign?”* Lopez Won’t Say If He Supports Silver For Speaker(YNN) * Vito Lopez Says He Hasn’t Been Questioned in Harassment Probes(LoHud) * Vito agonistes: Assemblyman Lopez meets the press(TU) * Assemblyman Vito J. Lopez Returns to Albany After Scandal(NYT* Brooklyn Assemblyman Vito Lopez returns after sexual harassment case(NBC)

One Day Soon Lopez Will Be Making License Plates
Assemblyman Vito Lopez made his first public appearance in Albany on Monday afternoon since news that he allegedly harassed his former staff members broke this summer, taking his seat on the floor of the Assembly. Lopez told reporters he intended to finish out his two-year term, but would not step aside based on the results of any ongoing investigations. *
Embattled Assemblyman Vito Lopez returned to work in Albany yesterday. He looked pale and tired, but remained combative as he railed about the sexual harassment charges lodged against him and vowed that he won’t back down because of them.

The Beast Plays A Sympathy Card
He confirmed he has been thinking about running for City Council, but said he is leaning against it because of concerns about his health. "I don't want to walk away from people I represent - I was elected in my district," he said. Lopez is currently undergoing additional cancer treatments at Memorial Sloan-Kettering, but he did not specify what kind of cancer. He has suffered from leukemia and esophageal cancer in the past, had his thyroid removed three years ago, and fought off a bout of pneumonia this summer, when news about the sex scandal broke. *
Lopez was joined in Albany by his girlfriend, Angela Battaglia. He insisted none of his colleagues had been critical upon his return, and said he has been suffering “serious health problems.”

Zombie Vito Lopez Who is Keeping Him Alive?
Lopez would not comment on any ongoing investigations, and shrugged off losing his parking space, having his seat in the assembly moved, and his office downsized by Speaker Shelly Silver amid the scandal, saying they were never that important. "Why did I come here in the wake of intense chemotherapy?" he said. "People thought I was crazy. But if you had a job to do, what would you do?" Lopez missed a chance to cast his vote for speaker last week, but said that even if he were there, he wouldn't necessarily have voted for Silver. "That would have been a decision I would have had to make at that time," said Lopez. "I believe in something called due process." Lopez stayed in the chambers long after the assembly recessed for the evening and caught up with several Brooklyn colleagues, including Assemblyman Dov Hikind. (City and State)


1/14/2013
____________________________________________________________________________________
Lopez Piggish Sexual Harasser?

Ethics Committee Looks Hard for Pigs In Albany and Only Finds One?

Ethics Report Eviscerates Vito Lopez For Years Of 'Piggish' Behavior; Clears Sheldon Silver: Sources(NYDN)

Silver Gets Away Scott Free With the Hush Fund Cover Up

JCOPE says it's completed an investigation, intuitively related to sexual harassment allegations against Assemblyman Vito Lopez. Under state law, any findings regarding legislative employees must be adjudicated by the bipartisan Legislative Ethics Committee That body decides on appropriate punishment, if any. If it does nothing in 45 days, the report becomes public.JCOPE says it's completed an investigation, intuitively related to sexual harassment allegations against Assemblyman Vito Lopez. * Lefcourt, Lopez's lawyer, says JCOPE commissioner told him today they're overnighting the report to him. ?* JCOPE finishes investigation of Lopez, Assembly(TU)

More on the Hush Fund Cover Up(True News)


Silver spokesman says they're confident JCOPE found "no ethical or legal violation" by speaker, urges ethics commission to release it* Sexual Harassment Case Against Lopez Sent to Legislature(NYT)  “From what I know of the investigation,” Gerald B. Lefcourt, Mr. Lopez’s lawyer, “it’s the same old stuff that he’s already been disciplined for.” * The Joint Commission on Public Ethics forwarded its report on the Assembly’s handling of Assemblyman Vito Lopez’s sexual harassment allegations to two legislative panels, meaning there is “substantial basis” that violations of state law occurred, the Times-Union reports

Gropez even 'ogled' a child: Accusation he made creepy comments on 14-year-old intern (NYP) 

Vito Lopez has lobbied at DiMarzio's behest, to block the passing of A5488, Assemblywoman Marge Markey's Child Victims Act, which DiMarzio opposes on the grounds that it would bankrupt Roman Catholic dioceses. (The Child Victims Act will expand, slightly, the statute of limitations for reporting incidents of sexual assault perpetuated by adults against children.) Lopez et al have been successful in preventing the passage of A5488, and Bishop DiMarzio has expressed his appreciation by campaigning for Lopez's political protégés within his diocese. *  Eyes Are On State Ethics Commission's Handling Of Lopez Allegations(NY1)

Woman's Rights: RIP Activism
A Social Change In NYC Woman's Rights and the Power of the Speaker to Control the Ethics Board Allows Silver and others to Escape Blame for Lopez's Hush Fund

How the Hush Fund Cover Up Succeed Indicates A Different NYC
Is New York Still New York? NYC's women activist of the past would never allow government leaders with covering up sexual abuse. Not only has the city's physically changed, the political, social, emotions and character has also. The Assembly speaker, Sheldon Silver, who has admitted making mistakes in his handling of the harassment charges, does not face charges in the report, people with knowledge of the findings said. There was widespread doubt that the state’s Joint Commission on Public Ethics would take any action against Mr. Silver, since his appointees to the commission’s board have effective veto power over its investigations.  Silver had authorized a secret payment of $103,080 earlier in the summer to settle previous allegations by two other women against Mr. Lopez. 



Former JCOPE Member Ravi Batra Lousy Job On Lopez
JCOPE, with its unbecoming speed and violation of normal deference to criminal process,  satisfied external political goals while documenting its total lack of independence. An ethics commission cannot be a political tool or satisfy
political goals as JCOPE continues to do, and take a "bow" to the pre-arranged
applause of "palace puppies," like Dick Dadey, who seek favors from people in
power. As a result, the public will now never hear the accused answer questions the public could have gotten answered and caused real reform to the epidemic that is power-based-sexual abuse that is Albany, and has to settle for JCOPE having a political master.

4/5/2013
Daily News Says Release the JCOPE Report . . . A Corruption Investigation Blocking the Report Release Allows Vito Lopez to Run for City Council
Public has to see how ethics panel judged pervy Vito Lopez(NYDN)
Staten Island DA Dan Donovan must end his bar on releasing report. While asserting that he suffers from brain tumors, Vito Lopez has filed papers signaling that he may run for City Council rather than continue as a pariah in the Assembly. An unlikely party is enabling Lopez to pursue his dreams of redemption: Staten Island District Attorney Dan Donovan.

Daily News Ignores Hush Fund Sexual Harassment Cover Up and Does An Editorial to Strength NYS Rape Laws
 Rape is rape(NYDN Ed)New York’s unacceptably out-of-date rape law must be reformed, so no other woman in this state is ever forced to endure the cruel indignities of being told a rape is not a rape. 
Official's switch-up on bill shocks rape survivor(NYDN) * A Manhattan rape victim was blindsided after state Sen. Catherine Young introduced a bill that dropped a proposed change to the state’s rape laws to include forced anal and oral sex, a day after the victim appeared with Young at a news conference, the News reports:

1/25/2013
Albany Hush Fund Cover Up Expands
Lopez Refuses to Testify On Inquiries Into Reports That He Sexual Abused His Aids
Lopez Declines to Testify on Allegations That He Sexually Harassed Aides(NYT)The lawyer representing Vito J. Lopez, a lawmaker and former Brooklyn Democratic chairman, advised him against testifying on inquiries into reports that he had harassed aides. Per his lawyer’s advice, Assemblyman Vito Lopez declined to testify in an investigation by the state ethics commission into claims that he sexually harassed four former female aides, because of a parallel criminal investigation * Lopez to decide on council run; Twitter account hacked(CrainsNY) “I will be evaluating whether I want to retire or whether I want to continue in politics and run for the City Council,” Mr. Lopez said, adding that he did not enjoy the cold weather in Albany. Previously, Mr. Lopez has cited poor health as a reason he may not run for the council.* RT : Vito: "I’ve never sent out a tweet or an email. I’ve never sent out a twit."

1/24/2013

Lopez Sexual Harassment Case Effect Weberman's Sexual Harassment Case
Hynes attended Lopez’s picnic last summer at the Ridgewood-Bushwick Senior Citizens Council — despite reports that the Lopez-founded organization was under federal investigation. Not after he said at that event, “I know the difference between a crook and others. . . . So Vito is a good guy.”* Wright Replaces Lopez As Housing Chairman(YNN)



Lopez Refuses to Testify On Inquiries Into Reports That He Sexual Abused His Aids
Lopez Declines to Testify on Allegations That He Sexually Harassed Aides(NYT)The lawyer representing Vito J. Lopez, a lawmaker and former Brooklyn Democratic chairman, advised him against testifying on inquiries into reports that he had harassed aides.

______________________________________ 1/21/2013

Vito Lopez Long Goodby
On September 19, 2010 the Headline of the NYP "The Only Thing I Have That's Worth Something is Politics.  That How I Get the Money." Vito lopez
Troubled Assemblyman Vito Lopez has raised little campaign cash since his sexual harrassment case broke. The Brooklyn Democrat, always a prodigious fund-raiser, has taken in just $6,000 in donations since a sexual harassment scandal broke in late August and led to him being stripped of his leadership positions. He hasn’t taken in a nickel since Sept. 1, but still boasts a campaign account of more than $1 million — the fruit of better days. It was later revealed that two others had accused Lopez of sex harassment. In that case, Silver approved a private $103,000 taxpayer-funded settlement. Lopez kicked in another $32,000. Lopez, who has denied the charges, decided not to run again for his position as Brooklyn Democratic chairman. But he did run for reelection to his Assembly seat against token Republican opposition and garnered more than 90% of the vote.




The Daily News calls for Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver to step down as speaker after allegedly helping to conceal sexual harassment claims against Assemblyman Micah Kellner and ex-assemblyman Vito Lopez: 

Silver backed Boxley when a previous accuser had accused him of rape two years earlier. 


Charmian Neary ‏@CharmianNeary
 

Once again Paper Tiger @nyc_now pres.Sonia Ossorio refrains from criticizing THE ROOT OF THE PROBLEM Sheldon Silver


When Sexual Harassment Worlds Collide
Insiders say that the Kellner investigation could increase the pressure on embattled Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver to resign, since Silver’s counsel failed to pursue legal action on past harassment complaints against Kellner 

JCOPE wants to know why the Assembly failed to disclose Kellner case in response to subpoena
Assemblyman Micah Kellner sexual harassment probe may hurt Speaker Silver if ethics commission uncovers dirty secrets. The probe comes after it was revealed last month that Kellner’s former chief of staff Eliyanna Kaiser brought allegations to Silver counsel Bill Collins in 2009 that the Manhattan Democrat had sexually inappropriate online conversations with a young woman on his staff. Even though Kaiser provided Collins with 15 pages of transcripts of the online chats, Collins never pursued the matter. After the issue became public, Silver said Collins never alerted him to the situation at the time and that he first heard about it in June, after it was brought to his attention by Assemblywoman Deborah Glick (D-Manhattan). * State Ethics Panel Opens an Inquiry Into a Sexual Harassment Cover-Up(NYT) * Sources say that the state Joint Commission on Public Ethics have launched an investigation into sexual harassment allegations against Assemblyman Micah Kellner, with subpoenas delivered to his former staffers, NY1 reports * “Assemblyman Charles Lavine, the chairman of the ethics committee, is seen by many as compromised. During the investigation of Mr. Lopez, he privately urged [JCOPE] to extensively edit its investigative report.” *  Now Carolyn Maloney disappears from Kellner's endorsement list, too * The Allegations Against Kellner(YNN)
* Friday Update Silver in more ‘harass’ hot water(NYP)  “We expect JCOPE [the ethics panel] will conduct a full investigation that identifies how and when the Assembly leadership failed to take sexual harassment seriously and how it failed to follow their own protocol on handling these cases,” said Sonia Ossorio, president of the National Organization for Women NYC.* Assemblyman Micah Kellner made repeated sexual advances to a male staffer, telling the employee that he had “pretty hands”, later alienating the staffer after he confronted Kellner, which led him to quit his job, the Daily News reports:
The Lenox Hill Democratic Club is sticking with embattled Assemblyman Micah Kellner.




1/18/2013

Will The Collapse of Quinn Deal to Give Lopez A Council District, Forcing Vito to Stay in Albany Destroy Hush Silver?


Shel gets lawyer for Gropez probe (NYP) ALBANY — Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver has lawyered up for the probe into his role in the Vito Lopez sex-harassment scandal, The Post has learned. Silver paid $35,000 from his $3.2 million campaign account to top-shelf Manhattan law firm Stroock, Stroock & Lavan last month as the state Joint Commission on Public Ethics investigated his approval of a secret sex-harassment settlement, records show.Silver spent $35K in legal fees on Lopez probe(NYDN)

Silver approved $103,080 in taxpayer money last year to settle allegations that Lopez had harassed young female aides — charges that Lopez, who kicked in $32,000 of his own money, denied. Silver has turned to Stroock before. He paid the firm out of his campaign account in 2004 when state-lobbying regulators investigated allegations that casino giant Caesars Entertainment gave him and his wife a discounted suite at its Las Vegas hotel.





David Grandeau was long known as the Sheriff of State Street, a punctilious and merciless enforcer of New York's lobbying laws
From his Blog The Silver and Libous cases have been put on hold by JJOKE staff. * The governor has been told by sources close to JJOKE that Silver and Libous have nothing to worry about. * When it comes to Lopez JJOKE isn’t done but isn’t doing anything either. * That Lopez is bragging that JJOKE has nothing on him.* That JJOKE commissioners have not been kept informed of the status of the Lopez investigation in the last 3 months. * That a vote was held on the Silver case and the Assembly democratic appointees blocked it. * That JJOKE employee John Milgram is telling the media “off the record” that no vote was taken. * That Milgram may be facing his own ethics investigation for leaking the false information that no vote was taken.


1/13/2013
Vito Lopez: I am Staying and I am Not Supporting Silver for Speaker
Assemblyman Vito Lopez declines to endorse Sheldon Silver as Speaker. Lopez was not in Albany last week for conference vote* Vito Lopez Says He's Staying Despite Sex Harassment Allegations and Health Issues (NYDN) “I won my district after a huge barrage of attacks on allegations,” he told reporters on the floor of the Assembly. “I have a strong mandate to come here and to represent the district. Would you like no one to represent them and me to resign?”* Lopez Won’t Say If He Supports Silver For Speaker(YNN) * Vito Lopez Says He Hasn’t Been Questioned in Harassment Probes(LoHud) * Vito agonistes: Assemblyman Lopez meets the press(TU) * Assemblyman Vito J. Lopez Returns to Albany After Scandal(NYT* Brooklyn Assemblyman Vito Lopez returns after sexual harassment case(NBC)



One Day Soon Lopez Will Be Making License Plates
"My license plate number has gone from 20 to 137" - Assemblyman Vito Lopez on his diminished standing in 





1/11/2013

Even the Crooks in Albany Does Not Want Vito Lopez
Brooklyn Assemblyman Vito Lopez a no-show in Albany

(NYDN)Vito Lopez returned to Albany where he make his first appearance at a legislative session since he was stripped of his leadership posts in a sexual harassment scandal last summer, but then turned around headed home Reporters were eagerly anticipating an appearance from embattled Assemblyman Vito Lopez during the State of State festivities at the Capitol this week. But Lopez made few public outings, sticking to his cramped fifth-floor office on Tuesday. 

Walking Dead Vito Lopez Who is Keeping Him Alive?
We spotted Lopez on Tuesday afternoon in an elevator in the Legislative Office Building, where he joked about his rough year, but he skipped a meeting attended by several Assembly members on Tuesday evening, the chamber’s swearing-in ceremony, and Cuomo’s State of the State address on Wednesday afternoon. Lopez’s office confirmed he left Albany that morning to go to a doctor’s appointment in the city. The lawmaker avoided intense scrutiny from a herd of testy Albany reporters and his anxious colleagues, including Republican Assemblyman Steve Katz, who accused Speaker Sheldon Silver of “protecting sex offenders” in a statement on the floor of the chamber before casting his ballot for Minority Leader Brian Kolb. A spokesman for Silver said that Lopez informed the clerk he would not be present for the speaker vote on Wednesday, joining Assemblymen Marcos Crespo and Phil Steck as the only absentees.


1/10/2013
Even the Crooks in Albany Does Not Want Vito Lopez
Brooklyn Assemblyman Vito Lopez a no-show in Albany(NYDN)Vito Lopez returned to Albany where he make his first appearance at a legislative session since he was stripped of his leadership posts in a sexual harassment scandal last summer, but then turned around headed home

1/8/2013
Those Involve in the Hush Fund Don't Want Vito Lopez Around
A ‘seat’ slap for Gropez(NYP)Grabby Assemblyman Vito Lopez keeps moving down in the world.Assembly honchos yesterday relocated the accused sex harasser further from the chamber’s rostrum, giving the 30-year-veteran’s second-row seat to freshman Ron Kim and sticking Lopez back a row between an upstate Republican and two other freshmen. Assemblyman Vito Lopez did not join the Democrats in their first private conference meeting.

Albany Hush Fund Cover Up, Press Containment Timeline(True News)



1/4/2013

Vito Lopez Finally is Downsized  
A smaller office and crummy parking space await disgraced Brooklyn Assemblyman Vito Lopez when he returns to Albany(NYDN) After losing leadership posts, veteran pol embroiled in sex harassment scandal loses his trappings of power

10/26/2012
Not Only is Albany Cover Up the Sex Case the NYT has  Done As Story on the Hush Funds Since August
Daily News  1 Stories Since August, NYP 1 Story
The Senate Republicans are running an ad taking the Vito Lopez scandal to the next level, attacking Democratic candidate George Latimer for a “SEX CASE COVERUP.” Mr. Latimer also released a Daily News-citing ad against GOP’er Bob Cohen, and said Mr. Cohen being elected “would be a crime.”* State GOP: Latimer’s Silence On Silver ‘Speaks Volumes’(YNN)


10/23/2012
The Media continues the hunt of Vito Lopez but ignores other involved in the hush fund scandal . . .  If the big three gets rid of Vito the scandal dies with no media coverage
Vito Lopez Crony Over His Head In Worker's Comp System Adds to The high cost of Doing Business in NY
2007 reforms by Silver, Bruno and Spitzer have not fully delivered as promised of lower payouts, putting yet another drag on the state’s struggling economy. The 2007 reforms also put Lopez crony Jeffrey Fenster a  in charge of the comp system.  When he was appointed in January 2010 by then-Gov. David Paterson, Fenster was a 29-year-old attorney just four years out of law school working as a litigation associate with the Manhattan firm of Stroock & Stroock & Lavan.

NY  Business Are Force to Pay Corruption Tax In Addition to High Taxes
Here’s what you get when you entrust the Workers’ Compensation Board to a crony of Vito Lopez with no relevant experience:  Premiums that are spiraling upward again — putting New York’s workers’ comp system back among the very costliest in the country. Which is not the place to be when you’re trying to attract investment, create jobs and knock down a state unemployment rate of 8.9%.  A national survey released this month by the State of Oregon found that New York’s average workers’ comp costs, of $2.82 per $100 of payroll, are the fifth-highest in the country — 50% above the national norm and up from 13th-costliest in 2010.


Lopez's Judge, Campaign Enforcer DWI Busted
Vito’s judge pal in DWI bust(NYP)  A Supreme Court judge and former top aide to disgraced Brooklyn political boss Vito Lopez was busted for driving drunk near Albany, cops said. Justice Carl Landicino was arrested at about 4 p.m. last Thursday after he was spotted driving aggressively on I-87 in Colonie, cops said. Before Landicino was elected to the bench last year, he was counsel to the Brooklyn Democratic Party. One of Landicino’s jobs with the party was to sue candidates Lopez wanted to keep off the ballot.* DWI for Landicino, longtime Lopez crony(NYDN)


Campaign 2012 NY1 Online: Allon Explains His Republican Run For Mayor * As expected, Rep. Joe Crowley, the head of the Queens Democratic Party, attended the launch of State Senator José Peralta‘s borough president campaign last night. The campaigns of both Mr. Peralta and former City Councilwoman Melinda Katz are now fully underway.* The Hotel Trades Council has been taking their endorsement of Republican Senator Marty Golden to heart, hitting the streets to organize on his behalf. * Potential 2013 NYC mayoral candidate (and still a Democrat) Sen. Malcolm Smith’s pitch to GOP leaders: “I went to school at Jesuit college, I’m a good guy.” * The New York League of Women Voters’ 2012 voting guide is now live.* NYC Public Advocate Bill de Blasio has a long-standing – and personal – connection to the Washington, D.C.-based Mack/Crounse Group, which he has hired to advise him on his (so far unofficial) 2013 NYC mayoral campaign.* The Daily Freeman endorsed Gillibrand, calling Wendy Long’s pledge not to raise taxes proof that she’s “the wrong candidate.” * NYC Council Speaker Christine Quinn, the frontrunner in the 2013 NYC mayor’s race, didn’t attend today’s hearing on one of her district’s hottest topics: Expansion of Chelsea Market. * Staten Island's Cusick picks up support of law enforcement (SI Advance) * Fight For The House: Fight For The House Focuses On Grimm Race(NY1)



10/19/2012
Setting the Table for A Pay Raise
Cuomo suggested that more state records, such as Assemblyman Vito Lopez’s confidential sexual harassment settlement, receive the same public scrutiny as executive agency records
Cuomo’s ‘secret’ pol offer(NYP)  He suggested subjecting more state legislative records — like the “secret,” taxpayer-funded $103,080 payment to settle sex-harassment charges against Assemblyman Vito Lopez  — to the same public scrutiny as executive agency records. It’s part of his price for a potential legislative pay raise, along with hiking the minimum wage, decriminalizing minor pot possessions during stop-and-frisk procedures and partial taxpayer financing of state elections. * Sunlight on Lobbying in Albany(NYT Ed) The new ethics law should not be undermined by lobbying organizations that don’t want to identify their major contributors. * Cuomo added FOIL reform – specifically that the Legislature be subject to the law, which it now is not – to the growing list of things he would like to see lawmakers pass before they get a pay raise. * Brooklyn State Supreme Court Judge Carl Landicino, Assemblyman Vito Lopez’s former counsel, was arrested for driving drunk on the Northway near Colonie.
 
GOP Candidates Continue to Hit Silver on the Lopez Hush Fund Sex Harrassment Payoff 
Katz Knocks Silver As “Joe Paterno,” Settled Own Sexual Harassment Case(Politics on the Hudson)



10/18/2012



Ravi’s latest letter: JCOPE as weight loss aid (TU) "I have kept a copy as a souvenir of time spent, some well and some unwell,” Batra wrote. “My doctor has repeatedly told me to lose some Weight. Now, thanks to Ms. Stamm’s prodding, I’ve actually shed at least 1/2 an ounce in my Wallet.”





Senator Attacked Over Vito Lopez Sex Harassment And Silver Cover Up With Government Funds

It Took A Senate Debate Breaks NYC Media Cover Up of Albany Hush Scandal 

 The Media has not written about the Albany hush fund scandal in weeks. It took a debate to get an elected officials to say anything about the Albany sex scandla. Is everyone waiting to the must criticized JCOPE to report on the matter and end the problem by getting rid of the body (Vito) and a public flogging of Silver, AG and the comptroller. Oct 3 Vito Lopez told to lie low, Sep 27 Vito Lopez Sex Scandal Unravels 'Bear Mountain Compact' If Albany is going to get its pay raise then Vito Lopez has to be gone by the time the special session is called.  That Could be why Lopez is looking at a council run.

Long Outspent 10 to 1 Uses Her 1 Debate to Connect the Albany Pay Hush Fund Off to the War on Women
Wendy Long chided Gillibrand for pushing the concept of a Republican "war on women" while cutting Silver slack. Long also noted Gillibrand's wait-and-see stance on fellow Dem Silver is counter to her calls six years ago as a congresswoman on former GOP House Speaker Dennis Hastert to resign over his handling of a sex scandal involving then Rep. Mark Foley. "Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, instead of addressing the matter, instead of bringing it to light and trying to remedy it, instead took over $100,000 in taxpayer money and used it as hush money to try and keep these young women quiet," Long said. "To my way of thinking, this is a big scandal."


Gillibrand Will Not Call For Silver to Resign, Waiting to Hear the Results of the Two Investigations
Senate debate: Kirsten Gillibrand rips Sheldon Silver for using $100,000 in taxpayer money to settle sexual harassment claims against Vito Lopez  Gillibrand, who made the comments during a televised Senate debate with Republican challenger Wendy Long at Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, is the highest-ranking member of her party to criticize Silver for using public money to settle the allegations. "Vito Lopez should have paid those fines himself," Gillibrand said. "Taxpayer money should not have been used." But Gillibrand stopped short of Long's call for Silver to resign over the matter, saying she first wants to see the outcome of two investigations. Gillibrand criticizes Silver during Senate debate (NYDN) * In Sole Debate, Senate Rivals Don't Agree on Much(NYT) * In Debate, Gillibrand, Long Tackle Jobs, Economy — And '50 Shades of Grey'(WSJ) * Long and Gillibrand clash on fracking, abortion(TU) * Gillibrand, Long Face Off In US Senate Debate(NY1)* calls stories on "secret" Lopez settlement "worst case of reporting ever"* Republicans get the Senate debate they wanted, but so does Gillibrand(Capital) * Ulrich hits Addabbo for funding Vito Lopez's organization.

10/16/2012

Former JCOPE commissioner Ravi Batra said the commission’s attempt to secure all his records and notes all his records and notes amid an investigation into press leaks is illegal and “stinks to high heaven.” The Joint Commission on Public Ethics is seeking former JCOPE member Ravi Batra's notes, as part of its investigation of leaks to the media. [AP]




10/15/2012
Batra to JCOPE: I’ll keep my documents, thanks *Batra ‘Perplexed’ By JCOPE Documents Request(YNN)





10/12/2012
Media Protects Silver By Not Investigating HushGate
Critics Press for Ethics Probe to Review Speaker(WSJ) An independent ethics probe into the sexual-harassment allegations against Assemblyman Vito Lopez won't be released until next month, but critics raised concerns about the investigation. * The Senate paid a Manhattan law firm $22,444 earlier this year to investigate allegations of discrimination and harassment made by a female member of Queens Sen. Tony Avella’s district office staff. * Taxpayers on hook in Senate harass probe(NYP)The state Senate shelled out $22,444 this year to probe what turned out to be bogus discrimination and harassment claims against aides to Queens Democrat Tony Avella.




Breaking: Quinn in Lopez Retreat 

New ‘Vito district’ unlikely (NYP) Council-map ‘redo’

Vito Lopez had better start looking for a real-estate agent if he intends to run for the City Council next year in the Brooklyn neighborhood he most covets. (Lopez controls a housing non profit, so he should have no problem finding a new apartment in the district, anyway he lives in Queens out of both districts)  Sources said Council Speaker Christine Quinn wants to undo the map proposed by the Districting Commission that moved the embattled assemblyman’s home into the district represented by Councilwoman Diana Reyna.

No need to celebrate what a wonderful insterment of democracy the council redistricting commission is. There are dozens of other deals besides the blown Lopez district created because of political deals to elected Quinn that have not been outed.  The press has not done it job.  If de Blasio had not blased the Lopez district and gotten some of his follow along friends in Brooklyn to take up the issue, Quinn would have never back down. The Citizen Union and other goo goos who got invoved after the bloggers published stories about the sweatheart Lopez district were just trying to cover their ass.  They proviced no leadership on the issue.

We Need to Know Who Besides Quinn Was Behind the Lopez Council District
Shame on NYT for not writing on story blasting the political deals that Quinn is getting away with and the Lopez deal.  True News knew the NYT would get the speaker to redue the district without showing their hand.  Shame on the NYP's David Seifman for saysing The irony of this situation is that the commission was getting generally high grades for its work before the Lopez controversy erupted. Get you ass out of City Hall Seifman and start talking to non incumbents who want to run for council. We still don't know who were the secret playing behind the deal with Quinn.  We know that Silver the AG and Comptroller want Lopez out of Albany to stop press coverage about the hush fund cover up, which is what the press is very willing to do.  We know Lopez's power comes from his non profit Ridgewood Bushwich which Quinn's council still funds. Any good union organizer knows if you want to break someone stave the $$$.  We also know Lopez is connected at the hip to the large number of votes controlled by Rabbi Neiderman and his pal DA Hynes.  So by the NYT not going after Lopez it keeps alive a sytem that does not take sexual harrassment or abuse seriously in Albany and Brooklyn.

Quinn Moves Quick to Drop Lopez Deal to Protect Her Lead
What Were Bloomberg's Poll Numbers in 2000?
Q Poll: 2013 Mayoral Runs By Joe Lhota, Adolfo Carrion Jr. Would Be Turkeys?(NYDN)
Lhota would lose to the Democratic nominee 60% to 9%, according to the Quinnipiac University poll.
Carrion would lose 62% to 11% if he ran on the Republican ticket.
 

Districting Commission kept maps hidden from its own commissioners(Queens Crap)

From Crains:

Commissioners who unanimously approved new City Council district lines last week were not provided with maps showing last-minute tweaks until an hour before voting for them, one commissioner told The Insider. Former state Sen. Frank Padavan, a Republican member of the New York City Districting Commission, said the first time he saw last-minute changes that will stand for the next decade came at an hour-long meeting last Thursday — and that he now regrets his vote in favor of the lines at that meeting. Mr. Padavan said he had been unaware that the Broadway-Flushing neighborhood in Queens, which had been in Republican Councilman Dan Halloran’s district, had been split in two. “When the final drafts were presented [at the meeting] I just didn’t have all the details,” said Mr. Padavan. “It was just cut out and I didn’t notice.”

Press (Bloggers) Stonger Than Blackmail Threats
Lopez Blackmails A Council District
The press corp is incurious to the motive of creating a council district for Lopez and not take him out. Maybe They Can't?



Like Sammy the Bull Gravano Lopez has made so many dirty deals with all the city power brokers in exchange for votes he can rat on any one of them.
 

What About the Pfizer Deal?  Is Bloomberg Silence on Lopez Be Caused By The Backroom Deals They Made With Lopez on the Pfizer Site? And Other Deals? Quinn and Silver who tired to be silent are not just scared of being caught with their past deals to protect and serve Lopez, including the Pfizer Site deal.   After helping to make Quinn speaker in 2005, What Does know about the Council's Slush Fund Scandal of which he got millions for his non profit which he used as his machine. Lopez helped pushed illegal third term for Bloomberg and Christine Quinn?


* Vito Lopez Moves To Take Pfizer's Brooklyn Site By Eminent Domain * Four ways Vito Lopez reshaped New York | The New York World * Pfizer latest giant company to milk city for lucrative tax breaks - New ... * A Fight Grows In Brooklyn: Pfizer & Eminent Domain // Pharmalot  * Loft Law Has Silver, Lopez Under Further Scrutiny(NY1) * No Land Grab: Eminent Domain Archives*Vito Power Stalls Broadway Triangle | Vito Lopez and his Hour-of ... (2010)* Assemblyman Vito Lopez made good on his secretly-recorded threat ... * Greenpoint Gazette:Broadway Triangle Opponents Square Off(2011) * Council Approves Controversial Broadway Triangle Plan: Gothamist(2009) * Passions Remain High as Child Victims Act Is Derailed After Bruising Fight (NYT)


NYP Joins the Fight to Demand That the Quinn Stop the Sweet Heart District By the Redistricting Committee She and the Mayor Control 
Chris Quinn’s Vito problem(NYP Ed) New York City has its share of gerrymandered election districts — like the one that was pinched and squeezed and pulled and teased to the apparent advantage of a serial sexual harasser with eyes on a City Council seat.  Council Speaker Chris Quinn is expected to approve new maps that would slide Assemblyman Vito Lopez’s Brooklyn home into a more favorable district — and put him in position to cruise to a seat on the council if he runs next year.  Lopez lives in the council’s 37th District, but new maps approved last Friday would shift his home into the 34th District, which he has a better chance to win in (he can move before election day and run in the 34 District seat anyway under election law rules). * "Lopez line" that has caused a headache was proposed by Councilman Erik Dilan We wonder why the NYP left out of the editioral that Quinn was also funding non profit machines Ridgewood Bushwick with $873,589 in member items funds Lopez di$penser(NYP) * In 2006, when she was elected to become Speaker of the New York City Council, Christine Quinn turned to help from Vito Lopez in Brooklyn, for the votes of Brooklyn councilmembers, in an effort to thwart Bill De Blasio, who (no surprise) failed in his campaign to become Speaker. Like then, Speaker Quinn is now turning to extending favours to Mr. Lopez. Only now, what is at stake is not the speakership, but the mayoralty. Quinn invited Lopez to her wedding.



Make A Call Lincoln to the NYT, Stop With the Traffic Reporst on Your Twitter . . .  Use Your Position to Make Change
One phone call by Lincoln Restler to his supporters in the NYT will force Quinn to end her stonewalling on changing the sweat heart district the redistricting committee she and the mayor controls.  We know the NYT supports Quinn for mayor, printing her baby pictures and her baking a pie in her NJ get away house. That is why they are the only paper to stay away from the Lopez Quinn story.  Who better to force the paper of record hand than the young lad who representing not only the reformers, but the hipsters the paper desperately needs to stay loyal to their brand, to stop it finance loses and readership decline. Lincoln if you want to stop this deal call the NYT at 212-556-1234. Breaking on the BBC Scandal Times Co. Chief Executive Testifies at Closed-Door Inquiry on BBC Scandal * Mark Thompson gives evidence to Nick Pollard investigation into ...(Guardian) *Mark Thompson Testifies At BBC Probe Into Jimmy Savile Scandal(Huff Post) * Thompson testifies at London probe into BBC (KHON2) *
Mark Thompson testifies at London probe into BBC Centre Daily Times*
NY Times CEO Mark Thompson in London for BBC testimony(Business Standard)
 

Quinn Who Still Funds Grope Vito Lopez Machine Says She Has Nothing to Do WithVito's District
Lincoln should drop a dime today and call the NYT Editorial Board.  Or better yet call their news CEO Mark Thompson who seems to have a bit of a tin ear on comprehending and acting on sexual harassment stories. We already have sexual harassment cover ups in Albany connected to the Lopez story, and the BBC connected to Thompson, nobody needs another one at the NYT. The NYT must demand that Quinn change Lopez's district.  Knowing how the NYT operates they will make a call to Quinn and give her an offer she can not refuse. No editorial in exchange for Quinn recutting the Lopez district.  After Scandals, BBC Appoints New Director General(NYT) BBC's director general Tony Hall: "I believe passionately in the BBC, it's important part of what makes UK what it is"   *BBC taps Royal Opera’s Tony Hall for top job(NYP) *



Will Brooklyn Reformers Demand The Cannoli Friend Boss Seddio Demand Quinn Change the Lopez District?
On August 23rd 2012 True News Reported Quinn Was Selling Council District For Mayoral Support . . .  Now That Vito Lopez and His Friends Brought One of Those District de Blasio and his Supporters Have Discovered the Council Districts Pay to Play Operation

The reformers who took Seddio's cannoli's when he visited their clubs whe he became the new boss of brooklyn, never understood how Seddio was still working with Lopez who still controlled  Rabbi Neiderman powerful voting block so important to DA Hynes reelection. Lopez knows were a lot of bodies are buried that is why people like Bloomberg and Speaker Silver and many more fear him.



 From True News 8/23/12  
"Council Redistricting Corruption Silence"

Many of his fellow reformer felt that Citizens Union puppet general Dick Dadey sold out last year when he supported Albany's compromise to put off independent redistrict for 10 years.  But nothing can compare to Dadey and the rest of the goo goos, editorial boards and reformers silence on the corruption going on with the city council redistricting operation. 

 

Over 100 Days After True News Warned of Council District and the Creation of the Lopez District Did A few Pols and Progressives Attached to Them Take Notice
For starters the appointed council redistricting commission is controlled by two people supporting Quinn for mayor in 2013.  The council speaker herself and her puppet master the mayor.  Although the redistricting commission work has just begun there are already reports that county bosses Crowley and Lopez, ethic and minority leaders are already dealing with Quinn operatives to cut districts favorable to them or those they support in exchange for their endorsement for Quinn's 2013 mayoral bid.


More than the Lopez Deal: Council Redistricting Protect Incumbents. . .  Will Those Speaking Out on the Lopez Deal Look At the Entire Corrupt System Or Just What Interfears With Their Plans?
Goo Goos and Reformers Who This Week Have Spoken Out Against the Lopez Deal Remain in Hiding of the Dozens of other deals Quinn made with the borough machines and local pols. 


Redistricting Helps Incumbents and Those Connected to the Machines and ethnic groups 



 





10/11/2012
Silver is Well Beyond Accountability to Voters
His District is Wired With Government $$$ and Jobs So He Can Out for More Taxes in the Highest Taxed State

Silver is for ‘rich’ tax hike(NYP) * Silver Supports Higher City Taxes for Wealthy (WSJ)

Out Free Spending Legislature

The numbers crunchers at the Empire Center have released an update to their legislative spending database, showing that the Republican-led Senate and Democratic-controlled Assembly combined have spent $102 million in the last six-month reporting period that ended in March.Assemblyman Richard Gottfried was the highest in his chamber $488,359.  The databases can be found here and here.

Women's Right Leaders Finally Go After Lopez and Sexual Harassment In Albany
Women’s rights groups and activists gathered on the steps of City Hall this afternoon to sound the warning bell over the still-ongoing investigation into Assemblyman Vito Lopez‘s sexual harassment scandal. They focused on Governor Andrew Cuomo‘s new ethics panel’s investigation, rather than the criminal one being conducted by a district attorney.

10/6/2012
Replacing Ravi Batra
‘Gropez’ grillers’ new dog(NYP) The state ethics watchdog agency investigating scandal-scarred Assemblyman Vito Lopez is getting a new member. LaShann DeArcy, a city Taxi and Limousine Commission appointee and a former scheduler for Rep. Floyd Flake (D-Queens), will join the 14-member Joint Commission on Public Ethics looking into tax funds that went to two Lopez sex-harass accusers. Sources: City Official To Be Appointed To State's Joint Committee On Public Ethics(NY1) * Senate Minority Leader John Sampson Makes JCOPE Pick To ...(NYDN)
 '

 10/5/2012
Not One NYC Newspaper Reports On It - Talk About Cover Up
The Joint Commission on Public Ethics subpoenaed eight Assembly’s ethics committee members who probed Speaker Shelly Silver’s role in handling claims against Vito Lopez, the Albany Times Union writes:  * JCOPE subpoenaed the eight members of the Assembly Ethics and Guidance Committee as it proceeds with a probe of the Assemblyman Vito Lopez sexual harassment scandal. Assemblymen Tony Jordan and Jack McEneny have already met with investigators.
Silver and His Pals Gave Vito Lopez Special Treatment On Sex Harassment Confidentiality11 Sexual Harassment Settlements Cost the State $5 Million(NYT) None of the cases, from 2008 to 2010, included confidentiality provisions, like the language included in the settlement involving Assemblyman Vito J. Lopez.


10/5/2012
Silver and His Pals Gave Vito Lopez Special Treatment On Sex Harassment Confidentiality
State Paid at Least $5 Million to Settle 11 Sex Harassment Cases(NYT) None of the cases, from 2008 to 2010, included confidentiality provisions, like the language included in the settlement involving Assemblyman Vito J. Lopez.


Lopez is Not Disappearing From the Headlines Like His Fellow Lawmakers Have Hopped 
150G for Vito att'y(NYP) Records made public yesterday show the embattled Brooklyn assemblyman sent $150,000 from his campaign account to Gerald Lefcourt, a criminal-defense lawyer, on Sept. 5. Lopez has now paid him a total of $239,703 from his campaign account — which still has $1,074,008 left. * Tarred Lawmaker Has an Easy Path(WSJ) Assemblyman Vito Lopez has refused to resign over sexual harassment allegations, saying his fate should be decided by his constituents. The embattled Brooklyn lawmaker has reasons to be confident.Brooklyn Republicans acknowledge that it is nearly impossible for Assemblyman Vito Lopez to lose his election against his opponent, political neophyte Richy Garcia, next month * 


The GOP candidate quixotically campaigning against scandal-tarred Assemblyman Vito Lopez no longer wants the job. “He seems like a genuine guy looking to help the community any way he can,” that candidate, Richy Garcia, said. Unless he is nominated for a judgeship, dies, or leaves the state, however, he’s going to be an option on the ballot.* Gropez Scandal Hits LI Airwaves(YNN) * Assemblyman Vito Lopez‘s GOP opponent, Richy Garcia, who couldn’t really get off the ballot even if he wanted to, apparently flip-flopped on whether he would drop out of the campaign. He’s “back” in it. This is basically a formality, however, as Mr. Lopez would be a formidable foe in a Democratic primary. A general election in heavily Democratic Bushwick? Fuhgettaboutit.

It's still up in the air whether a special legislative session will consider changing New York's campaign finance laws  (TU) Labor and progressive groups are pushing for campaign finance reform to be on the agenda in the legislature’s special session this fall, but lawmakers may scrap the session entire




 10/2/2012
The Hush $$$ Cover Up Continues
The fallout from Assemblyman Vito Lopez‘s implosion continues to batter high-ranking elected officials. Notably, Comptroller Tom DiNapoli insisted that his staff had a “very limited” role in the sexual harassment settlement. “So, because of all the concerns that have been raised, I said, ‘Staff, do we need to do things differently, should there be more red flags?’” he explained. “And we’re reviewing that and perhaps there’ll be some changes in our policies that will come out as a result of that.” * Remember Michael Bragman? Former Assemblyman reminds Democrats what happens to those who challenge Speaker Silver


10/25/2012
Not Only is Albany Cover Up the Sex Case the NYT has  Done As Story on the Hush Funds Since August
Daily News  1 Stories Since August, NYP 1 Story
The Senate Republicans are running an ad taking the Vito Lopez scandal to the next level, attacking Democratic candidate George Latimer for a “SEX CASE COVERUP.” Mr. Latimer also released a Daily News-citing ad against GOP’er Bob Cohen, and said Mr. Cohen being elected “would be a crime.”* State GOP: Latimer’s Silence On Silver ‘Speaks Volumes’(YNN)

Campagin 2012 NY1 Exclusive:

10/23/2012

The Media continues the hunt of Vito Lopez but ignores other involved in the hush fund scandal . . .  If the big three gets rid of Vito the scandal dies with no media coverage
Vito Lopez Crony Over His Head In Worker's Comp System Adds to The high cost of Doing Business in NY
2007 reforms by Silver, Bruno and Spitzer have not fully delivered as promised of lower payouts, putting yet another drag on the state’s struggling economy. The 2007 reforms also put Lopez crony Jeffrey Fenster a  in charge of the comp system.  When he was appointed in January 2010 by then-Gov. David Paterson, Fenster was a 29-year-old attorney just four years out of law school working as a litigation associate with the Manhattan firm of Stroock & Stroock & Lavan.

NY  Business Are Force to Pay Corruption Tax In Addition to High Taxes
Here’s what you get when you entrust the Workers’ Compensation Board to a crony of Vito Lopez with no relevant experience:  Premiums that are spiraling upward again — putting New York’s workers’ comp system back among the very costliest in the country. Which is not the place to be when you’re trying to attract investment, create jobs and knock down a state unemployment rate of 8.9%.  A national survey released this month by the State of Oregon found that New York’s average workers’ comp costs, of $2.82 per $100 of payroll, are the fifth-highest in the country — 50% above the national norm and up from 13th-costliest in 2010.





10/19/2012
Setting the Table for A Pay Raise
Cuomo suggested that more state records, such as Assemblyman Vito Lopez’s confidential sexual harassment settlement, receive the same public scrutiny as executive agency records
Cuomo’s ‘secret’ pol offer(NYP)  He suggested subjecting more state legislative records — like the “secret,” taxpayer-funded $103,080 payment to settle sex-harassment charges against Assemblyman Vito Lopez  — to the same public scrutiny as executive agency records. It’s part of his price for a potential legislative pay raise, along with hiking the minimum wage, decriminalizing minor pot possessions during stop-and-frisk procedures and partial taxpayer financing of state elections. * Sunlight on Lobbying in Albany(NYT Ed) The new ethics law should not be undermined by lobbying organizations that don’t want to identify their major contributors. * Cuomo added FOIL reform – specifically that the Legislature be subject to the law, which it now is not – to the growing list of things he would like to see lawmakers pass before they get a pay raise. * Brooklyn State Supreme Court Judge Carl Landicino, Assemblyman Vito Lopez’s former counsel, was arrested for driving drunk on the Northway near Colonie.
 
GOP Candidates Continue to Hit Silver on the Lopez Hush Fund Sex Harrassment Payoff 
Katz Knocks Silver As “Joe Paterno,” Settled Own Sexual Harassment Case(Politics on the Hudson)

10/18/2012
Senator Attacked Over Vito Lopez Sex Harassment And Silver Cover Up With Government Funds

It Took A Senate Debate Breaks NYC Media Cover Up of Albany Hush Scandal 

 The Media has not written about the Albany hush fund scandal in weeks. It took a debate to get an elected officials to say anything about the Albany sex scandla. Is everyone waiting to the must criticized JCOPE to report on the matter and end the problem by getting rid of the body (Vito) and a public flogging of Silver, AG and the comptroller. Oct 3 Vito Lopez told to lie low, Sep 27 Vito Lopez Sex Scandal Unravels 'Bear Mountain Compact' If Albany is going to get its pay raise then Vito Lopez has to be gone by the time the special session is called.  That Could be why Lopez is looking at a council run.

Long Outspent 10 to 1 Uses Her 1 Debate to Connect the Albany Pay Hush Fund Off to the War on Women
Wendy Long chided Gillibrand for pushing the concept of a Republican "war on women" while cutting Silver slack. Long also noted Gillibrand's wait-and-see stance on fellow Dem Silver is counter to her calls six years ago as a congresswoman on former GOP House Speaker Dennis Hastert to resign over his handling of a sex scandal involving then Rep. Mark Foley. "Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, instead of addressing the matter, instead of bringing it to light and trying to remedy it, instead took over $100,000 in taxpayer money and used it as hush money to try and keep these young women quiet," Long said. "To my way of thinking, this is a big scandal."


Gillibrand Will Not Call For Silver to Resign, Waiting to Hear the Results of the Two Investigations
Senate debate: Kirsten Gillibrand rips Sheldon Silver for using $100,000 in taxpayer money to settle sexual harassment claims against Vito Lopez  Gillibrand, who made the comments during a televised Senate debate with Republican challenger Wendy Long at Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, is the highest-ranking member of her party to criticize Silver for using public money to settle the allegations. "Vito Lopez should have paid those fines himself," Gillibrand said. "Taxpayer money should not have been used." But Gillibrand stopped short of Long's call for Silver to resign over the matter, saying she first wants to see the outcome of two investigations. Gillibrand criticizes Silver during Senate debate (NYDN) * In Sole Debate, Senate Rivals Don't Agree on Much(NYT) * In Debate, Gillibrand, Long Tackle Jobs, Economy — And '50 Shades of Grey'(WSJ) * Long and Gillibrand clash on fracking, abortion(TU) * Gillibrand, Long Face Off In US Senate Debate(NY1)* calls stories on "secret" Lopez settlement "worst case of reporting ever"* Republicans get the Senate debate they wanted, but so does Gillibrand(Capital) * Ulrich hits Addabbo for funding Vito Lopez's organization.

Other Issues in the NY Senate Debate

Long called it a threat to religious liberties to require people of faith and religious institutions who view abortion and contraception as “evil” to include them in insurance coverage. Gillibrand shot back that the overwhelming majority of women use some type of contraception. eanwhile, while Long criticized Obama for setting a 2014 withdrawal date for troops in Afghanistan, Gillibrand said she believes America should leave now. Gillibrand said Al Quaeda has "metastasized" to other parts of the world.  The two also battled over natural gas hydrofracking, with Gillibrand calling for environmental studies and the publicizing of the chemicals used in the controversial process before moving ahead in New York. Long called the senator's concerns "phony" and argued the process is being used safely in other states. She called it a job generator for upstate. * The debate – the lone head-to-head match-up of the US Senate race – was the one opportunity for the under-funded, little-known Long to score points against Gillibrand. She was aggressive and combative, but didn’t land any knock-out punches.* Senate Candidates Asked If They've Read 50 Shades Of Grey During Debate

Ravi’s latest letter: JCOPE as weight loss aid (TU) "I have kept a copy as a souvenir of time spent, some well and some unwell,” Batra wrote. “My doctor has repeatedly told me to lose some Weight. Now, thanks to Ms. Stamm’s prodding, I’ve actually shed at least 1/2 an ounce in my Wallet.”









10/16/2012

Former JCOPE commissioner Ravi Batra said the commission’s attempt to secure all his records and notes all his records and notes amid an investigation into press leaks is illegal and “stinks to high heaven.” The Joint Commission on Public Ethics is seeking former JCOPE member Ravi Batra's notes, as part of its investigation of leaks to the media. [AP]






10/15/2012

Batra to JCOPE: I’ll keep my documents, thanks *Batra ‘Perplexed’ By JCOPE Documents Request(YNN)







10/12/2012
Media Protects Silver By Not Investigating HushGate
Critics Press for Ethics Probe to Review Speaker(WSJ) An independent ethics probe into the sexual-harassment allegations against Assemblyman Vito Lopez won't be released until next month, but critics raised concerns about the investigation. * The Senate paid a Manhattan law firm $22,444 earlier this year to investigate allegations of discrimination and harassment made by a female member of Queens Sen. Tony Avella’s district office staff. * Taxpayers on hook in Senate harass probe(NYP)The state Senate shelled out $22,444 this year to probe what turned out to be bogus discrimination and harassment claims against aides to Queens Democrat Tony Avella.


10/11/2012
Women's Right Leaders Finally Go After Lopez and Sexual Harassment In Albany
Women’s rights groups and activists gathered on the steps of City Hall this afternoon to sound the warning bell over the still-ongoing investigation into Assemblyman Vito Lopez‘s sexual harassment scandal. They focused on Governor Andrew Cuomo‘s new ethics panel’s investigation, rather than the criminal one being conducted by a district attorney.



10/6/2012

Replacing Ravi Batra
‘Gropez’ grillers’ new dog(NYP) The state ethics watchdog agency investigating scandal-scarred Assemblyman Vito Lopez is getting a new member. LaShann DeArcy, a city Taxi and Limousine Commission appointee and a former scheduler for Rep. Floyd Flake (D-Queens), will join the 14-member Joint Commission on Public Ethics looking into tax funds that went to two Lopez sex-harass accusers. Sources: City Official To Be Appointed To State's Joint Committee On Public Ethics(NY1) * Senate Minority Leader John Sampson Makes JCOPE Pick To ...(NYDN)
 '


 10/5/2012
 8 Members of the NYS Assembly Are Interview By JCOPE and Not One NYC Newspaper Reports On It - Talk About Cover Up
The Joint Commission on Public Ethics subpoenaed eight Assembly’s ethics committee members who probed Speaker Shelly Silver’s role in handling claims against Vito Lopez, the Albany Times Union writes:  * JCOPE subpoenaed the eight members of the Assembly Ethics and Guidance Committee as it proceeds with a probe of the Assemblyman Vito Lopez sexual harassment scandal. Assemblymen Tony Jordan and Jack McEneny have already met with investigators.
Silver and His Pals Gave Vito Lopez Special Treatment On Sex Harassment Confidentiality11 Sexual Harassment Settlements Cost the State $5 Million(NYT) None of the cases, from 2008 to 2010, included confidentiality provisions, like the language included in the settlement involving Assemblyman Vito J. Lopez.


10/4/2012

Silver and His Pals Gave Vito Lopez Special Treatment On Sex Harassment Confidentiality
State Paid at Least $5 Million to Settle 11 Sex Harassment Cases(NYT) None of the cases, from 2008 to 2010, included confidentiality provisions, like the language included in the settlement involving Assemblyman Vito J. Lopez.


Lopez is Not Disappearing From the Headlines Like His Fellow Lawmakers Have Hopped 
150G for Vito att'y(NYP) Records made public yesterday show the embattled Brooklyn assemblyman sent $150,000 from his campaign account to Gerald Lefcourt, a criminal-defense lawyer, on Sept. 5. Lopez has now paid him a total of $239,703 from his campaign account — which still has $1,074,008 left. * Tarred Lawmaker Has an Easy Path(WSJ) Assemblyman Vito Lopez has refused to resign over sexual harassment allegations, saying his fate should be decided by his constituents. The embattled Brooklyn lawmaker has reasons to be confident.Brooklyn Republicans acknowledge that it is nearly impossible for Assemblyman Vito Lopez to lose his election against his opponent, political neophyte Richy Garcia, next month * 


The GOP candidate quixotically campaigning against scandal-tarred Assemblyman Vito Lopez no longer wants the job. “He seems like a genuine guy looking to help the community any way he can,” that candidate, Richy Garcia, said. Unless he is nominated for a judgeship, dies, or leaves the state, however, he’s going to be an option on the ballot.* Gropez Scandal Hits LI Airwaves(YNN) * Assemblyman Vito Lopez‘s GOP opponent, Richy Garcia, who couldn’t really get off the ballot even if he wanted to, apparently flip-flopped on whether he would drop out of the campaign. He’s “back” in it. This is basically a formality, however, as Mr. Lopez would be a formidable foe in a Democratic primary. A general election in heavily Democratic Bushwick? Fuhgettaboutit.

It's still up in the air whether a special legislative session will consider changing New York's campaign finance laws  (TU) Labor and progressive groups are pushing for campaign finance reform to be on the agenda in the legislature’s special session this fall, but lawmakers may scrap the session entire




10/3/2012

Vito's Albany Friends Tell Him to Get Lost So They Can Get A Pay Raise
Vito Lopez's pals tell him 'showing up' in Albany is nothing but trouble right now (NYDN) Fallen Brooklyn Democrat has told supporters that resigning from Assembly would be like admitting guilt to sex harassment accusations. Backers say he should steer clear of Capitol to avoid a 'firestorm' Friends of embattled Assemblyman Vito Lopez are urging him to avoid Albany during a special session this year, but Lopez told friends he believes resigning would be a form of admitting guilt.


10/2/2012

The Hush $$$ Cover Up Continues
The fallout from Assemblyman Vito Lopez‘s implosion continues to batter high-ranking elected officials. Notably, Comptroller Tom DiNapoli insisted that his staff had a “very limited” role in the sexual harassment settlement. “So, because of all the concerns that have been raised, I said, ‘Staff, do we need to do things differently, should there be more red flags?’” he explained. “And we’re reviewing that and perhaps there’ll be some changes in our policies that will come out as a result of that.” * Remember Michael Bragman? Former Assemblyman reminds Democrats what happens to those who challenge Speaker Silver





10/1/2012
Unlike Watergate where the Washington Post Drove the Story the Media Blackout in the Past Couple of Weeks of the Hush Money Lopez Story Has Allowed Albany to Dive the Story

Pay Hikes What Hush $$$
Salary hikes for pols hinge on Silver probe(Dicker, NYP) The Joint Commission on Public Integrity’s investigation of Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver’s “confidential” cash settlement with two women who accused Assemblyman Vito Lopez of Brooklyn of sexual harassment will likely wrap up before the Nov. 6 elections, The Post has learned. State lawmakers, sources said, want the probe finished by then to clear the way for a special legislative session right after the elections that could vote to grant lawmakers a much-anticipated pay raise.

A source close to JCOPE said the agency was working “full-bore’’ on the probe, which is designed, in part, to determine if Silver violated state ethics laws or criminal statutes in approving the $103,080 payment, which was not made public.  Some key officials speculate that JCOPE will determine Silver’s settlement wasn’t illegal or even “secret’’ — as has been charged by critics — since aides to Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli reviewed portions of the settlement in advance.

NYT Does Not Talk About Their Conspicuous Silence on the Hush Gate Story After Breaking It.  But does talk about  a conspicuous silence from religious leaders who have regularly cooperated with him politically in Brooklyn, notably Bishop Nicholas A. DiMarzio, head of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn * The Lopez mess has turned the spotlight back to the 2003 rape case against former Silver counsel Michael Boxley and the guidelines enacted in its aftermath to protect victims.
In Brooklyn, Lopez’s Ties To a Bishop Seem Frayed(NYT)The bishop went as far as recording a robocall in 2009 in support of a City Council candidate Mr. Lopez was backing, and when he was recently asked, through a spokesman, what he thought about the allegations, he responded with a carefully worded statement. “There is no place in our society for sexual harassment,” said Bishop DiMarzio, who has led the diocese, which also includes Queens, since 2003.

What About the Pfizer Deal?  Is Bloomberg Silence on Lopez Connected to the Eminent Domain No Bid Deal He Made With Lopez on the Pfizer Site?
Vito switched in 2008 on legislation allowing victims of sexual abuse by Priests to Sue church. Legislation would have extended Statute of limitations. Now its stalled. Vito & Bishop did that deal. Heavy stuff !! Mr. Lopez was seeking to control development of the Broadway Triangle — progress on the plan has now stalled — and Bishop DiMarzio was seeking to defeat the bill on the statute of limitations, sponsored by Assemblywoman Margaret M. Markey, Democrat of Queens, which could have made the church vulnerable to hundreds of millions of dollars in legal liability to compensate victims of clergy sexual abuse.*Vito Power Stalls Broadway Triangle | Vito Lopez and his Hour-of ... (2010)* Assemblyman Vito Lopez made good on his secretly-recorded threat ... * Greenpoint Gazette:Broadway Triangle Opponents Square Off(2011) * Council Approves Controversial Broadway Triangle Plan: Gothamist(2009) * Passions Remain High as Child Victims Act Is Derailed After Bruising Fight (NYT)


After Threats to Remover Her Bill to Eliminate the Statute of Limitations Assemblywoman Markey Was Hospitalized


Mr. Lopez, who had previously supported the Markey bill, changed his mind in 2008.  Mr. Lopez was seeking to control development of the Broadway Triangle — progress on the plan has now stalled — and Bishop DiMarzio was seeking to defeat the bill on the statute of limitations, sponsored by Assemblywoman Margaret M. Markey, Democrat of Queens, which could have made the church vulnerable to hundreds of millions of dollars in legal liability to compensate victims of clergy sexual abuse. Mr. Lopez, who had previously supported the Markey bill, changed his mind in 2008. In 2008, Bishop DiMarzio recorded a call to voters in Assemblywoman Markey’s district. It did not directly mention her opponent, Anthony Nunziato, a Republican, but urged constituents “to vote for a candidate that demonstrates Catholic values,” Ms. Markey said.








9/27/2012

What Happens North of Bear Mountain in Albany Stays There No More

Vito Lopez Sex Scandal Unravels 'Bear Mountain Compact' And Albany's Sordid Past(Huff Post) The accusations that emerged over the summer are hardly unusual in a state capital, especially Albany, which has such a rich history of sexual misconduct by lawmakers that it has its own, unwritten Las Vegas-like code: What happens north of Bear Mountain stays there.




9/26/2012

Silver for the GOP?
Help us polish off Silver: GOP(NYDN) State GOP Chairman Ed Cox blasted an email to party loyalists Tuesday requesting donations ranging from $25 to $100 to help oust Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, who is under fire for approving a $103,000 secret settlement with two women who accused Lopez of sexual harassment. *State GOP leaders are doing whatever they can to raise money off the scandal.


9/24/2012

Less Than A Slap on the Wrist for Fake Silver Blogger
NY Assembly reprimands worker blogging for Silver (Fox 5)  Silver spokesman Michael Whyland says the worker was formally reprimanded and lost his internet access.


 Silver and Albany
 It is All About Fooling the Public

Elected officials, consultants and lobbyists have long been using fake identifies to attack their opponents or praise themselves or their employees.  Before the internet it was just limited to campaign ads or flayers.  Today there are actual identities created to carry the message.  As local blogs are talking over the role of community newspapers they are becoming like most local papers pushing one candidate over the other. A 48-year-old male aide to Speaker Shelly Silver is behind the alter ego, “Sophia Walker”, a female blogger who defends Silver against allegations he improperly approved a sexual harassment settlement

Male aide behind Silver’s fan ‘gal’ Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver has a strong female voice defending him against allegations he improperly funneled hush money to two of Assemblyman Vito Lopez’s sex-harassment accusers. The thing is, Silver’s “female’’ supporter is a man — and he’s one of the powerful Democrat’s own staffers.
Bill Eggler, 48, a longtime legislative writer for Silver, is behind a Web alter ego, “Sophia Walker,” who lashes out at anyone who dares suggest his boss did anything wrong in orchestrating a secret $103,080 payout to the former Brooklyn Democratic Party leader’s accusers, The Post has learned.  One comment that “Sophia’’ posted on Sept. 5 to the Albany Times Union’s Capitol Confidential blog defends Silver’s handling of the payout. “This entire affair is nothing more than election-year scandal-mongering, all of which will fade away after the taxpayers foot the bill for a costly, perfunctory and pointless investigation that will find no significant wrongdoing on Silver’s part,” it reads. * Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver's female Facebook defender turns out to be a man who works for him. * Shelly Silver's "Female" Cyber-Apologist Is Actually a Guy Named Bill(Village Voice)




9/21/2012

The Media Has Decided Not To Independently Investigate Albany's Sexual Abuse Scandal

Manhattan DA probes votes by Silver's children(NYDN) * Flashback: The executive director of Citizens Union said voting from an address that is not the voter's residence is "illegal." [Capital New York] * Bizarre Postscript To 1990s Assembly Sex Harass Case(YNN)


9/20/2012

Et Tu Tony
Et tu! Dem calls for Silver to quit(NYP) Queens state Sen. Tony Avella yesterday urged Silver  to step down as speaker over his handling of the Vito Lopez sex-harassment scandal — becoming the most prominent fellow Democrat to come out against the powerful legislative leader so far.

* About Cuomo’s Confidential Settlement(Politico)




9/19/2012

NYT Tries To Tie Cuomo Into to Silver Secrecy Problem
In a Discrimination Case, Cuomo Used a Confidentiality Clause, Documents Show(NYT) Records show that when Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo was attorney general, his office reviewed a racial discrimination settlement that included a secrecy clause. Cuomo, who criticized a secret Assembly settlement, once authorized a racial discrimination case settlement with a confidentiality clause when he was attorney general, according to documents* Somebody as big as Vito goes down, the WHOLE building shakes. Sorry governor.  "This settlement is completely different than the Lopez matter on many levels, including the facts there were no elected officials involved"
 

NYT Protects Silver
Cuomo has called for an investigation into the secret settlement of sexual harassment claims against Lopez, but while he was attorney general, his office authorized the settlement of a racial discrimination case that included a confidentiality clause. More here.* A spokesman for Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver deemed the NYS GOP’s on-line petition calling on Silver to resign for his role in the Lopez scandal “nothing more than election-year politics.”
Cuomo Talks
Cuomo says confidentiality needed at JCOPE in order to prevent possibly inaccurate accusations and damages.* Cuomo says there will always be mistakes made in government and life. He says JCOPE is a "dramatic improvement" over past ethics watchdogs.* Cuomo: "Who the speaker is will be up to members of the Assembly." Says he still has confidence in Silver.* Cuomo: Imagine A World Without JCOPE(NYO)
* Camara Backs Seddio For Brooklyn Dem Chair(YNN)


    NY park agency refusing to release 18 e-mail conversations with Cuomo officials re: controversial resort permits.


9/18/2012

Media Control on the Right and Left is the Same 
Transparency After Getting Caught In A Scandal
Assembly Releases Documents Listing Sexual Harassment Settlement(NYT) The move represented an effort by the Assembly to appear more transparent as it grapples with criticism over its handling of a sexual harassment scandal centered around one of its most prominent members, Assemblyman Vito J. Lopez, the Brooklyn Democratic chairman. Previously, the Legislature had balked at releasing electronic records detailing its expenditures.  * axes for Vito Lopez hush cash OK (NYDN) * Assembly records show taxpayers also spent $2,400 to a California-based mediation firm in connection with a sexual harassment settlement involving Vito Lopez.  
The secret settlement in Assemblyman Vito Lopez’s sexual harassment case stuck taxpayers with an extra bill of nearly $2,400 for mediation services from a California-based firm. That was on top of the $103,080 paid to Lopez’s two accusers. (DN) That detail was included in a list of 2012 expenditures released by the Assembly in the interest of (ex post facto) transparency. The practice of using taxpayer dollars to settle sexual harassment claims lodged against public officials was upheld in 2008 after a taxpayer filed suit in State Supreme Court to challenge a $500,000 settlement paid to woman who accused Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver’s then-counsel, Michael Boxley, of rape.* There’s precedent in using taxpayer money to settle sexual harassment claims. (DN) * Assembly Releases Spending Doc that Shows Harassment Settlement (WNYC) * David Grandeau wants an investigation into “JJOKE” (AKA JCOPE) leaks, but has a short list of entities able to do the job. 

Cox: Sign The Petition To Oust Silver(YNN)

Board of Elections votes down a motion to investigate Silver family apartment (Capital)


Where Have You Gone Bella Abzug 
Albany ControlGate: It is Not Just A Media Cover Up, It is New Yorkers New Culture
NY Pols not long comment give there opinion on issues that can hurt power brokers.  Bella would stop strangers on the street and tell them what she felt about ever issue and ever pol..Only the NYP and Daily News are advancing the Lopez Silver Hush Money Scandal Payoff. The NYT is protecting Silver.  Elected officials including the mayoral candidates only comment on issues they consultants have deemed safe for them.

New York's Cover Up Culture Runs Deep
Today elected officials come from government.  Mostly from the staffs of elected officials or community boards.  The Days of activists like Abzug running for offices are long gone. Woman's non profits funded by Albany are also boxed in from pushing to get to the bottom of the Albany sexual abuse hush fund cover up.  With no real aggressive reporters like Jack Newfield, Pete Hammill, Jimmy Breslin or Murray Kempton to demand answers from hiding pols, New York is now known as the cover up city.  A long way from the Bella era when you know if you met a New Yorkers you were going to get lectured on their opinions on the issues of the day.* Troy artist: Adam Lisberg MTA Spokesperson Example of Why Media Kills News Stories?





9/17/2012






DiNapoli Cover Up
The NYP Calls DiNapoli Silver Puppet Because Silver Built Him

DiNapoli said last month he had nothing to do with the $103,000 payout that settled the Gropez scandal — the serial sexual attacks perpetrated by Assemblyman Vito Lopez and the efforts of Assembly Speaker Shelly Silver to cover them up. But that was all baloney.  DiNapoli’s office actually wrote portions of the settlement and advised Assembly lawyers throughout, according to internal e-mails released through a Freedom of Information Law request filed by The Post. DiNapoli was installed in his office by Shelly Silver in 2007. So when Silver told him to pony up the $103,000 settlement, DiNapoli did exactly that.

Breaking Assembly Releases Documents Listing Sexual Harassment Settlement(NYT)


Were are the Goo Goos and NYT Editorials Demanding Direct Elections for Comptroller Vacancies?








New York Post columnist asked: “Who watches Tom DiNapoli?”
The worst scandal (Gelinas, NYP) Who watches Tom DiNapoli? The scandal surrounding Brooklyn Assemblyman Vito Lopez is about more than the groping, more even than the coverup. It’s about Albany’s lack of checks and balances when it comes to sending taxpayer money out the door. Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver approved a $103,080 payment out of taxpayer funds to quash the cases. He kept the public, if not the public’s money, out of it. Silver has to bring in state Comptroller Tom DiNapoli — or at least his staff. The victimized women got their checks not from Silver but from DiNapoli’s office, written to the women’s lawyers for “legal services.”DiNapoli’s office seems to think its job was to provide private banking services to Silver. Indeed, DiNapoli — the literal gatekeeper of taxpayer money — has no real system in place to vet these types of “settlements,” especially those that involve one elected official protecting another.
Such deals (one hopes, anyway) are unique and should go straight to the top. * Speaker’s pet(NYP Ed) The Post scoff that it is “impossible to believe” State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli was not aware of the details of Assemblyman Vito Lopez’s secret harassment settlement because DiNapoli wrote portions of it.  * Sheldon Silver still has Assembly's 'strong backing' despite Vito Lopez scandal(Newsday)* NY can't tolerate Silver's inaction(TU) * City GOP targets Silver's kids(NYP)  * 'Lopez' Special Prosecutor Can Scrutinize Silver RoleThe Chief-Leade

The cozy relationship between Sheldon Silver, the Met Council, and Bruce RatnerI know I'm late on this, but let's take another look at the cozy relationship between Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, the Metropolitan Council on Jewish Poverty, and developer Forest City Ratner. There's nothing illegal, just another episode of the questionable one-hand-washes-the-other power configuration that seems so prevalent in the city and state. (Atlantic Yard Report)




Your Daily Batra JCOPE
   Your Daily Batra, or: How to save JCOPE * Former JCOPE Commissioner Ravi Batra proposed a host of reforms for the embattled ethics watchdog.*Why Shelly Silver Must Resign  Susan Del Percio * NY Assembly speaker seen losing clout with Governor Cuomo - Reuters Extras - Former JCOPE Commissioner Ravi Batra proposed a host of reforms for the embattled ethics watchdog. E
* Seiler: How can we replace Ravi Batra? (TU)








 9/15/2012

Can Lopez Blackmail Silver Because He Has the Goods On Him On Real Estate Deals Like This One?  What About the Pfizer Deal?  Is Bloomberg Silence on Lopez Connected to the Eminent Domain No Bid Deal He Made With Lopez on the Pfizer Site?
Loft Law Has Silver, Lopez Under Further Scrutiny(NY1) The relationship between Assemblyman Vito Lopez and State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver has come under the microscope since Lopez was accused of sexual harassment, and Silver was accused of protecting him. But NY1 has learned that a 2-year-old tenant protection law sponsored by the two Democrats is now the subject of a lawsuit which critics say offers new evidence of collusion between the two powerful lawmakers.  The primary sponsor of the retroactive law allowing them to stay was Assemblyman Vito Lopez, who is now embroiled in a sexual harassment scandal. One of the co-sponsors of the bill was Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, who is now accused of protecting Lopez by keeping a taxpayer-funded financial settlement to two female accusers secret. * Vito Lopez Moves To Take Pfizer's Brooklyn Site By Eminent Domain * Four ways Vito Lopez reshaped New York | The New York World * Pfizer latest giant company to milk city for lucrative tax breaks - New ... * A Fight Grows In Brooklyn: Pfizer & Eminent Domain // Pharmalot




Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver’s children moved away — but still vote in dad’s electionsAssembly Speaker Sheldon Silver’s children moved away — but still vote in dad’s elections(NYP)Did he really need the extra votes?  Three of powerful Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver’s adult children remained registered to vote in their father’s Lower East Side district long after moving out, The Post has learned.


Nothing Has Change In Albany Sexual Harassment Ways In Decades, Still the Bear Mountain Pac Rules
Silver's unspoken history of payoffs(NYP)When Speaker Sheldon Silver authorized $103,000 be paid to the alleged sexual-harassment victims of Assemblyman Vito Lopez, his office said the secret payout was the only one of its kind. It wasn’t.
 In 1992 a young Assembly aide claimed she was harassed by her boss. Three years later Speaker Silver arranged for a quiet $85,000 payment to make it go away. At the center of the scandal was Charmian Neary, a petite, blond assistant who worked for Manhattan Democratic Assemblyman Mark Alan Siegel from January to July 1990.* Ex-Assemblyman Accused of Sexual Harassment - New York Times(1992) * The Big Apple: Bear Mountain Compact (Tappan Zee Bridge Rule)
"Albany is hardly the only place where men—and women—have trouble understanding sexual harassment. But the capital has an acute problem because, despite some progress, it remains a male bastion that has yet to overcome its antiquated legacies.  There’s a Brigadoon quality to the state capital—without the charm. It’s hasn’t quite entered the last third of the century. Indeed, not so long ago the professional woman was a rarity in Albany. Many legislators thought of women as pleasurable distractions, part-time companions during their time away from home and family." Editorial Notebook; Old News from Albany  By JOYCE PURNICK  * When Will We Have Three Women in a Room?(Tom Allon)


9/14/2012

State Controller Tom DiNapoli’s website declares him “responsible for ensuring that the taxpayers’ money is being used effectively and efficiently to promote the common good.”  How well did he fulfill the mission in the matter of the secret sexual harassment settlement that has embroiled Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and Assemblyman Vito Lopez?
The News wonders whether State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli was “ignorant” or “complicit” when he signed off on a $103,000 taxpayer-funded Assembly settlement for Lopez’s sexual harassment claims: State Controller Tom DiNapoli ducks responsibility in Vito Lopez sexual harassment settlement  Which makes him sound negligent about the spending of public funds,






 9/13/2013

If You Think DiNapoli Top Aids Working On Lopez Hush Fund Deal Did Not Tell Tom, We Have A Bridge To Sell You

Memos show that aides to Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli (above) were in on the Lopez deal.
The comptroller’s top lawyers went on to provide formal advice to Silver’s legal staff on how to financially craft the settlement. Newly-released emails reveal an attorney in Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver’s office disagreed with public statements by the comptroller about the comptroller’s role in the secret settlement with Lopez’s sexual harassment accusers. Comptroller Tom DiNapoli has insisted he had no personal knowledge of the settlement, but it’s clear his top staffers were intimately involved in drafting it.
DiNapoli team in deepDiNapoli team in deep(NYP) Comptrol aides drafted Lopez ‘hu$h’ deal
State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli’s office was extensively involved in drafting the secret $103,000 agreement to settle sexual-harassment claims filed against Brooklyn Assemblyman Vito Lopez, according to explosive new documents released yesterday.  DiNapoli previously insisted that the confidential Lopez settlement — approved by Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver — had not been brought to his personal attention by staffers. But correspondence between lawyers for the comptroller and Assembly speaker, released yesterday to the media, shows that DiNapoli’s staff was consulted about the harassment claims against Lopez on March 27 — more than two months before the settlement was reached. * Settlement Advice Revealed(WSJ) * State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli’s attorneys reviewed a secret $103,000 settlement to resolve sexual harassment allegations against Lopez two months before authorizing the payments, the Albany Times Union reports


In a statement yesterday, DiNapoli’s office defended its actions. “The comptroller’s legal staff was not a party to the negotiations, nor did it evaluate the merits of the settlement,” said DiNapoli spokesman Eric Sumberg.

In a June 4 e-mail, DiNapoli’s assistant counsel, Mary Anne Tommaney, sent Assembly lawyers proposed language for the settlement, recommending that the deal with Lopez’s accusers should be paid as “compensatory damages” for “emotional distress and pain and suffering claimed by the employees” rather than as back pay or salary.  In her e-mails, Tommaney does not refer to Lopez or his accusers by name, simply referring to the agreement as “resolving an employment dispute involving two Assembly staff members.”


 Only the NYP and Albany Times Union Reported On DiNmapoli Office Involvement in the Lopez Hush Money Scandal.  NYT Silent 
Yet another editorial board calls for changes at JCOPE. 




Judgment day for Silver: A spea

9/12/2012

Battleship Cuomo Fires Torpedo Subpoenas At 3 State Leaders. Is Shelly, Tom and Eric Ships Sunk?

NYP: "Aides to the governor have gone as far to say that “Shelly is going down” or, at best, is “damaged goods.” The Joint Commission on Public Ethics has issued subpoenas for several of Silver’s aides and attorneys with the state comptroller and attorney general as Cuomo’s aides wonder if Silver can survive, according to sources

Public Wants Cuomo to Clean Up Albany
Gov. Andrew Cuomo, not legislative leaders, should take the lead in cleaning up legislative corruption in the state, New York voters say 54 – 32 percent in a Quinnipiac University poll released today * -Poll: Cuomo Right To Skip (Most Of) DNC(YNN)

Update
Embattled Legislator Seeks to Bolster Clout in Primaries(NYT)



Shelly Gave Vito What He Wants $$$ and Hush
Ethics panel issues Lopez-probe subpoenas, eyeing state bigsEthics panel issues Lopez-probe subpoenas, eyeing state bigs(NYP) Subpoenas are flying in the expanded ethics probe into Brooklyn Assemblyman Vito Lopez’s alleged sexual harassment of women, as a state panel investigates the roles played by Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and the offices of Comptroller Tom DiNapoli and Attorney General Eric Schneiderman. * Assemblyman Vito Lopez demanded the strict confidentiality clause for two women who accused him of sexual harassment and received a $103,000 settlement from the Assembly, the Daily News’s Ken Lovett learns The question of who pushed for the strict gag-order clause could be a central issue in determining the outcome of separate investigations into the settlement being conducted by the state ethics commission and a special prosecutor. * Poll: New Yorkers Have Figured Out Their Government Is Corrupt(NYO) * Deal With Vito Lopez Accusers Carried $20,000 Fine For Discussing Their Case(NYDN)



The legal requests for information went out hours after JCOPE’s board voted Monday to authorize a sweeping probe into the actions of everyone involved. William Collins, an attorney in Silver’s office, had sent several copies of draft “confidential settlement” agreements to Groenwegen, as well as to Arlene Smoler, a top labor lawyer in the Attorney General’s Office. “I’d appreciate any thoughts either of you might have on this draft,” Collins said in a May 29, 2012, e-mail sent to Smoler and Groenwegen.

Silver, realizing he may be in the political fight of his life, hired Stu Loeser, Mayor Bloomberg’s former press secretary, as a media consultant to address the crisis. Loeser’s wife, Jessica, is a former top aide to Silver.  Mr. Loeser’s wife is now a district leader in Mr. Silver’s Assembly district. Mr. Silver was also a witness at Mr. Loeser’s wedding. * Ex-Mayoral Aide to Help Assembly Speaker in Harassment Case(NYT) Mr. Silver’s communications director, Michael Whyland, said: “Stu and the speaker are friends and neighbors who have a long history together. He will be helping with strategic issues and advice working with our overall media and strategic consultant, Jonathan Rosen of Berlin Rosen.”  * Ex-Bloomberg press secretary helping Sheldon Silver with Vito Lopez sex harassment scandal(NBC)
“We believe there should be a full investigation of the handling of this matter by Speaker Silver, the attorney general and the comptroller,” said lawyer Gloria Allred. We think that the public has a right to know which state employees were involved in decision making in this important matter,” Allred added * Silver’s counsel Jim Yates has reportedly obtained outside counsel to represent him in this mess.* The League of Women Voters’  Barbara Bartoletti discussed the latest JCOPE controversy on Capital Tonight.




NYP's Goodwin Pushes for the Moreland Act
Having demanded an ethics- panel probe, Cuomo is obliged to support it for now. But he should drop the Moreland bomb at the first hint of backsliding. He has been handed a once-in-a-generation chance to get to the root of Albany’s crooked dysfunction and it would be a major mistake to fumble it. The Post’s Michael Goodwin lauds Cuomo for threatening to invoke the Moreland Act to pressure the state ethics commission into broadening its inquiry into Silver’s role in an Albany sexual harassment scandal .* Amid Lopez Probe, Ethics Panel Faces Scrutiny(WNYC) * Ethics commission steps up Vito Lopez probe(Newsday)

Bums away, Andy!(Goodwin, NYP) Cuomo ruined everything. He piped up and threatened to unleash an army of diggers unless you investigate the whole sordid cover-up, including the roles of Silver, Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and Comptroller Tom DiNapoli. An investigation under the Moreland Act mostly would be public. Hearings with sworn testimony could expose new shenanigans that would shock and educate voters. Once appointed, its members would be independent. The process would not be limited by artificial boundaries and would be free to follow wrongdoing anywhere it leads. * Kolb Won’t Criticize Silver Over Lopez Scandal(YNN)

 9/11/2012

Will the Head of Vito Be Enough Now?

Ethics panel adds Sheldon to Vito probe(NYP)NYP: Cuomo integrity "hanging in the balance" while JCOPE probes "Vito-Lopez-Sheldon-Silver-Eric-Schneiderman-Tom-DiNapoli coverup scandal" The state Joint Commission on Public Ethics voted to conduct a broader investigation into those involved in Assemblyman Vito Lopez’s sex scandal, including Speaker Shelly Silver, the attorney general and the state comptroller. The Post lauds Cuomo for pushing the state ethics commission to widen its probe of Albany enablers in Lopez’s harassment scandal but says his credibility remains “hanging in the balance” * Newsday wants the state’s ethics law amended to reduce the ability of ethics commission members to veto a probe and permit disclosure of probes underway when the incident is public knowledge * Times Union: “Who’s more inscrutable, Bob Dylan or Ravi Batra?”

Cuomo tightens the screws(NYP) After a decidedly unsubtle push from Gov. Cuomo, the state’s new ethics watchdog is going all in on the Vito-Lopez-Sheldon-Silver-Eric-Schneiderman-Tom-DiNapoli coverup scandal.* Cuomo Is Open to ‘Tweaks’ in Ethics Panel(NYT) Cuomo said he is open to tweaking the state ethics panel as a former member warned of corruption and others said the group is losing credibility as it probes Assemblyman Lopez’s sexual harassment settlement * Ethics Panel Sets Inquiry for Lopez(WSJ) * State Ethics Board Votes To Investigate Lopez Sexual Harassment Scandal(NY1) * Hammond: "Cuomo understands that if botches the Lopez case, it reflects on his leadership, too."  * Bill Hammond says it’s time for Cuomo and the Legislature to recognize their mistakes and “fix” JCOPE. * Ditto, says the TU, adding: “(I)t’s obvious that the governor and lawmakers must scrap the sham that is JCOPE and replace it with a truly independent board.” * Cuomo defended JCOPE as former Commissioner Ravi Batra warned of “possible illegality and corruption”, but also said he’s open to making some “tweaks” to improve it.* The governor called a Moreland Act commission his “Plan B” if JCOPE fails to perform. Commissioners were offended by his threat.* Assembly Speaker Shelly Silver To Be Investigated For Vito Lopez Coverup(Village Voice) * Stu Loeser will help Shelly Silver out with that whole Vito Lopez situation.* Shirley Huntley’s campaign apparently thinks her constituents need more than fried chicken from her opponent, James Sanders. It’s not the first racially-tinted ad on her behalf. * The anti-gay marriage Mark Grisanti attacks roll on. * Dov Hikind was not pleased with Moshe Tischler’s attack on him over the Jacob Ostreicher case, saying, “These kids should really grow up first and learn how to respect a fellow Jew or any fellow human being whose life is in danger, before they want to run a campaign, you just don’t play games with a human life.” * Tischler said Hikind’s response involved plenty of “chutzpah.”* Stu Loeser's first major client is Sheldon Silver | Capital New York



9/10/2012


Everyone Else Did It But Me . . . The Buck Stops Nowhere Generation

Before Cuomo or Silver take heat, they will make AG and/or Controller the fall guy. Look at how NYT is already taking up that narrative. Aides to both Mr. Schneiderman and Mr. DiNapoli said that the top lawyers who were sent drafts by the Assembly either did not open them, did not fully read them or referred them to subordinates.
While it is not unusual for the state to pay money to settle legal claims, the confidentiality language was unusual. But it appears there was little or no discussion of that issue. * Silver: Moreland Commission ‘Academic Now’(YNN) * Cuomo Is Open to ‘Tweaks’ in Ethics Panel(NYT) * Video: JCOPE calls it a day(TU)







Cuomo: Shelly Silver’s ‘Secret Deal’ With Vito Lopez Was Anything But
“My point was that in some ways, it was even worse, it was not a secret deal done by Sheldon Silver, which people would think was just Sheldon Silver signs a secret deal,” Mr. Cuomo countered. “It was a secret deal reviewed by the Attorney General’s Office and implemented by the Comptroller’s Office.”
After Mr. Dicker repeated that the settlement was pretty much a “secret,” Mr. Cuomo asked, “Was it a secret?” “It was in writing, the settlement itself said it will remain confidential,” Mr. Dicker explained.

“My point was that in some ways, it was even worse, it was not a secret deal done by Sheldon Silver, which people would think was just Sheldon Silver signs a secret deal,” Mr. Cuomo countered. “It was a secret deal reviewed by the Attorney General’s Office and implemented by the Comptroller’s Office.” The host pointed out that now Mr. Cuomo was using the phrase “secret deal” that he was deriding just moments ago.
 
Protecting Boss Vito Lopez & Silver
NYT "Both men are Democrats, and both are former legislators who served with Mr. Lopez and Mr. 
Silver; Mr. DiNapoli was appointed comptroller in 2007 largely because of the support 
of Mr. Silver."  * NY ethics board meets amid sex harass scandal(Fox5) *
 ‘Vito Lopez vs. Bill Clinton(NYO) * JCOPE Debates The Merits Of Transparency(YNN)
 
 
 
 
 
Plausible Deniability 
Mr. Schneiderman has said that his office played only an 
informal role,and Mr. DiNapoli has said that his 
office’s role was technical.         
Both AG and Comptroller Office Could have 
Stopped the Hush Money - Received 3 Drafts 
"The offices of the attorney general and the comptroller received three 
draft copies of the settlements, but did not intervene to prevent the 
Assembly from using public money for the confidential settlement of 
sexual misconduct allegations against a powerful lawmaker." Both men 
said they were unaware of the settlement until it was described
 in the news media, even though their staffs were told that the 
negotiation involved Ms. Allred on one side and Mr. Lopez, the Brooklyn 
Democratic chairman, on the other.The two offices were drawn into the Lopez 
case when they were approached this year by Mr. Collins, a top counsel in 
Mr. Silver’s office. Mr. Collins sought advice from Arlene R. Smoler, a top employment law expert
 in the attorney general’s office, and Nancy G. Groenwegen, Mr. 
DiNapoli’s general counsel. The lawyers had several conversations over a
 period of weeks.                 
 
 
Eccentric ex-JCOPE member Ravi Batra explained his weekend resignation from the ethics panel. Quote part of his 3,500 word letter:
“…Albany is lovely, dark and deep
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.”
 
Schneiderman and DiNapoli Epstein's Mother Note
Schneiderman and State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli downplayed their roles in approving a confidential Assembly settlement for sexual harassment charges against Assemblyman Lopez. Aides to Schneiderman and state Comptroller Tom DiNapoli said top lawyers in their respective officials who were sent drafts of the Lopez harassment settlement by the Assembly “either did not open them, did not fully read them or referred them to subordinates.” Attorney General and Comptroller Play Down Their Roles in Settlement(NYT)  Mr. Schneiderman and Mr. DiNapoli and their aides have sought, in different ways, to describe their involvement in the Lopez settlement as minimal: Mr. Schneiderman has said that his office played only an informal role, and Mr. DiNapoli has said that his office’s role was technical.  


Both men said they were unaware of the settlement until it was described in the news media, even though their staffs were told that the negotiation involved Ms. Allred on one side and Mr. Lopez, the Brooklyn Democratic chairman, on the other. Officials in Mr. DiNapoli’s office said that Ms. Groenwegen never read the e-mails sent to her, but instead passed them on to a subordinate, and that neither she nor Mr. DiNapoli nor any members of his senior staff learned of Mr. Lopez’s involvement until it was reported in the news media, even though Mr. Lopez’s name was in the first sentence of one of the e-mails sent by Mr. Collins.Mr. DiNapoli said that his office processed hundreds of thousands of payments every month, and that the Assembly settlement was just another one described as related to “payments to a law firm” for what he called “legal services.”“Certainly, we were not involved in the negotiation or approval of the settlement,” he said. “We end up being the last part of it and making sure the details are in order from a technical perspective.” “I think it’s important to keep in mind that the issue here is really sexual harassment in the workplace,” Mr. DiNapoli added. “I sometimes get concerned that talk about process confuses the fact that these are serious allegations.”* Gloria Allred: "I have been receiving winks from some members of the delegation." 

 
 
Why Do You Think Schneiderman Wants the Lopez Story Off the Front Page? . . .  The Daily News’s Ken Lovett Spins for the AG
AG Eric Schneiderman Says Assembly Can Move To Oust Vito Lopez Now(NYDN) AG Schneiderman said the Assembly has the power under state law to expel Vito Lopez over sexual harassment allegations before a criminal conviction, which Silver is evaluating – much the way the Senate did, with Schneiderman at the lead, before expelling ex-Sen. Hiram Monserrate.


The Reason People Get Excited Is Because They Know Scandal Produces Reform  It Was Koch's Citisource Scandal that Led to Term Limits and Public Campaign Finance
  Cuomo: scandals tend to "excite and titilate in Albany."


In Typical NYT Fashion They Buried the 
Lead in A Misleading Story 
Sheldon Silver,the Assembly speaker and a Manhattan Democrat, signed
off on an agreement to settle the allegations for $135,000, mostly paid out 
of a portion of the Assembly’s budget that is not publicly accounted for. 
Both sides agreed to keep the deal secret, and the Assembly did not 
refer the matter to its own ethics committee, which is responsible for 
investigating misconduct by lawmakers.     

Only  the TU's Odato Talks About the Resignation of Batra from JCOPE and His Charges Against the Ethics Commission
Cuomo takes out big stick(TU) Gov. Andrew Cuomo's threat of a Moreland Act investigation of the entire handling of sexual harassment accusations involving Assemblyman Vito Lopez would allow the former attorney general to flex his prosecuto-rial muscles again. The probe he is warning about could examine the actions of Speaker Sheldon Silver and the offices of the current attorney general and comptroller on settling accusations against Lopez by two female accusers. In the judgment of Ravi Batra, Cuomo proposed to interfere with an ethics commission that is supposed to investigate possible misdeeds of government employees — including Cuomo — and must be free of outside influence. Batra said the panel must be able to make its own decisions, good or bad, based on votes of commissioners appointed by the Legislature and the governor.


Gov. Andrew Cuomo spent the weekend assessing the strength of Speaker Shelly Silver, ethics reforms, hydrofracking, and a pay raise for lawmakers in a potential special post-election legislative session, the Post’s Fred Dicker writes: *If Cuomo convenes a Moreland Act Commission to investigate JCOPE, insiders expect it will be led by his top counsel, Linda Lacewell, whom ex-NYS Police Superintendent Preston Felton described as “abrasive, pushy – obviously with some sort of chip on her shoulder.”





At one point, Miranda an Assembly worker said her boss, whom she did not publicly name, regularly told her, 
“Resistance is futile.” Albany's good-ol’-boy culture
JCOPE Ineffective Want Outside Investigation 
A former state Assembly worker now running for state Senate yesterday claimed she, too, was once the subject of harassment by Albany pols and called for an investigation into Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver.
“Vito Lopez is just a smoke screen and coverup for something much bigger,” blasted Senate hopeful Monica Arias Miranda. “Why are elected officials calling for Mr. Lopez’s resignation yet are not willing to say the same about the speaker, who is the one responsible for using $100,000 of tax-dollar money to hush the sexualharassment allegations?”* Ex-Assembly Staffer: Lopez Scandal The Tip Of The Iceberg(YNN)




9/8/2012

New Letter from  Ravi Batra

In response to your questions, and limited by my continuing confidentiality obligations

"While I was at Jcope, I honored my fiduciary duty to the public and served with idealism, albeit, informed by real life, to the point of exhaustion so as to enhance the sacred honor of my special references, great persons all, who vouched for me, friends and family, and for regular people to again believe in "truth, justice and the American way!" Sorry if believing in what is uniquely American may sound corny to some - maybe that's why we need real public ethics.

The funny thing is that yesterday I and the Governor intersected at the Moreland Act powers' square. I going north, to have restored on to Jcope that which belongs to Jcope by law: actual in-fact independence so as to be law abiding and have real jurisdiction over all who are so subject. The Governor going south, to threaten any at Jcope who didn't do his bidding, no matter any due process timetable, by threatening punishment if the matter was not fast-tracked and his wishes obeyed.

While we may differ on the definition of independence, luckily we are in
complete agreement on two counts: 1. that integrity in public service needs to
be restored by ferreting out anyone who may have done wrong or who aided and
abetted in any cover up, including, payment of any hush money or backidating
checks to pay for gifted-tickets; and 2. each appointing authority is
responsible for the job done by the appointee. I for one know for a fact, to the
point of moral and legal certainty, that I have brought honor to the Senate
Democrats and the great personages who issued letters of reference supporting my appointment. As to those who engaged in writing draft Source Funding disclosure regulations and knowingly and willfully sought to violate New York law, that set the effective date of June 1, 2012 for such disclosure, and slickly slide it over by 1 month so as to unlawfully cloak 6 months worth of law-mandated disclosure by 501C4s,  they need to answer questions under oath so as to rule out rank corruption of the highest order and perhaps a visit to elementary school to learn how a law is changed; as to their appointing authorities, it is up to them to claim pride for such obvious illegality.
 
I'm exhausted to the point of fatigue and have reached my limit of accepting  veiled intimidation or insults from those unworthy of lobbing same. However, even though I'm not an Irishman but on principle, I will not serve on "bent knee" and still feel "independent." Independence is not what the goo goos of New York practice to devalue the public trust as palace puppies happy to do tricks deed almost 80 years ago: that they could played cards with FDR on the weekends and yet rule his laws unconstitutional on Mondays. American honor and American integrity proudly displayed.

Without personal integrity, there can be no real public ethics; only the farce
of appearing ethical.

I am however happy to be done with "purer than Caesar's wife" requirement, exit
the goldfish bowl, capable to go to a bar association event and return to an
ordinary private life made exceptional by American exceptionalism."

Dated: 9/8/12
/s/
Ravi Batra
Private Citizen


Where are the NYT and Daily News Stories On the Rivera Dictatorship in the Bronx? We Would Like to Know How the Family and Its Inhouse Consultant Firm the MirRam Group Effects This Years Mayors Race

Rivera? Rivera? No-shows run in family(NYP) Only 22 of the Assembly’s 150 members cast fewer votes this year than Naomi Rivera — and that’s because they were facing probes, retiring or campaigning. The Bronx assemblywoman was absent or failed to vote 130 times — 12.12 percent of the time, an annual analysis by the New York Public Research Institute shows. * Sugar mom’ Naomi got son jobs(NYP)

No Wonder Why The NYT Have Few Readers in the Bronx





9/7/2012

Operation Containment: NY Papers Downplay Batra Charges of Corruption Inside the State Ethics Commission JCOPE

NYP buried the Batra resignation to the end of its article 
"Also yesterday, JCOPE Commissioner Ravi Batra resigned after slamming his own panel as being “remote-controlled” by Cuomo’s minions.  “I welcome a subpoena from a federal prosecutor or a Moreland Act-empowered special prosecutor to share my experiences and impressions about the reality of JCOPE in practice,” he told JCOPE Chair Janet DiFiore. Batra claimed he contacted “independent federal law enforcement almost a month ago” about “festering misconduct” at JCOPE. He cited “apparent illegal leaks” and “deception of commissioners” by a JCOPE staff dominated by former Cuomo aides."  More heat on Silver

NYDN Reported "Josh Vlasto, a spokesman for Gov. Cuomo, downplayed reports that JCOPE had narrowed its probe as “rumors,” but also warned that the governor would appoint a separate investigative commission if JCOPE does not conduct a wider inquiry." Albany Times Union Reported Ravi Batra — who was Friday afternoon the object of a swipe by Gov. Andrew Cuomo on a radio interview — says he is stepping down from the organization."Cuomo was on former Gov David Paterson’s WOR talk show about an hour ago. He said “the behavior of an appointee is not something you’re proud of.” Cuomo was referring to Senate Democratic Leader John Sampson — who appointed Batra to JCOPE."Updated with letter: Ravi Batra resigns from JCOPE(TU)  NBC reported On Friday, Batra said the secrecy the panel requires of commissioners may have become a cover for unspecified illegality.  Batra's greatest battle was this summer when he, as usual alone, fought to require donors to the lobbying group the Committee to Save New York be divulged back to the effective date of a 2011 ethics law. The board instead set a date that allowed six- and seven-figure donors of $17 million to the pro-business lobbying group to remain secret. The lobbying was set up to conduct its unprecedented TV ad campaigns that promote Cuomo's achievements. Outspoken NY Ethics Board Member Quits in Protest(NBC)  Politics on the Hudson “Confidentiality may have become a cloak for possible willful illegality operating with a ‘nod and a wink’ means of communication from within JCOPE to a chosen few for political gain and corrupt back-scratching,” he said. Uticaod.com Reported  After Batra called for a federal probe of JCOPE, Cuomo criticized Batra and the lawmaker who appointed him, Senate Democratic leader John Sampson. Cuomo spoke in a radio interview.



The Daily News Limited the Batra Resignation to 2 Sentences 
Meanwhile, Ravi Batra, a JCOPE board member, blasted the ethics agency for a spate of “illegal leaks” and being “remote controlled by person or persons” that it is supposed to oversee.  Batra, who officially resigned from the board Friday, would not elaborate but called for a special prosecutor to investigate JCOPE. Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver in crosshairs of criminal investigation linked to Vito Lopez sexual harassment scandal(NYDN)  Judge gives Staten Island District Attorney Dan Donovan authority to probe Silver's handling of matter. Silver used $103,000 in state funds to pay off two of Lopez's staffers




Friday Night JCOPE Massacre

Ravi Batra Quits JCOPE
After Calling JCOPE A Puppet of the Pols 
Calls It Controlgate 
Calls for A Moreland Commission Before he Quits 
 
"This is why, consistent with my confidentiality obligations, I notified 
independent federal law enforcement almost a month ago, that Jcope needs 
disinfectant sunshine because confidentiality may have become a cloak for 
possible willful illegality operating with a "nod and a wink" means of 
communication from within Jcope to a chosen few for political gain and 
corrupt back-scratching.
"Recent events have been cascading into a crescendo where I feel compelled to resign over principle. A concept that US Attorney Preet Bharara announced upon taking his public oath of office and one I have previously mentioned.I wish you well and hope that my resignation aids in focusing attention on the need for proper policies and practices to effectuate honest and independent ethics enforcement so as to actually restore public confidence in government and public service. NY ethics board member wants fed probe of panel(WSJ)

I acknowledge the continuing confidentiality obligation as well as the 2-year bar. I welcome a subpoena from a federal prosecutor or a Moreland Act-empowered special prosecutor to share my experiences and impressions about the reality of Jcope in practice, for then the confidentiality bar would no longer apply, and public trust further enriched." I have tried to serve, to the best of my ability, so that everyday New Yorkers knew that I was working overtime to honor our leaders' call to bring integrity back to Albany. 

 
That Vito Lopez's alleged conduct is unbecoming a gentleman is not an issue, but even he is entitled to due process before the facts overwhelm him, and separation of powers is still constitutionally worthy. Indeed, just when New York is faced with press reported issues of serious breach of public ethics raised by Vito Lopez's allegedly ungentlemanly behavior and Jcope needs to be able to swing into maximum action with all its capability to identify any and all breaches of the public trust, onsistent with its independent authority and commission-voted judgment, Jcope may be self-destructing with issues raised from apparent illegal leaks, deception of commissioners by staff, legally false prior public pronouncements and inter alia, operating in a manner that raises substantial concern that Jcope is being remote-controlled by person or persons that are themselves subject to Jcope's direct oversight and disinfectant jurisdiction; thereby making Jcope an unlawful political tool, if the substantial concerns raised are true. 

For lack of a better term what appears to be happening at Jcope is "Controlgate," despite the horrible, yet instructive, lessons of NYS Public Integrity Commission and Suffolk County's Ethics Commission documented by NYS IG's Trooper-Gate Report and DA Tom Spota's released Grand Jury Report, respectively. Until Jcope itself isn't acting independently, exercising commission-voted judgment and staff honoring their fiduciary duties imposed upon agents, given the delegation of authority resolution, Jcope is unable to honor its critical and vital statutory mandate to bring integrity back to Albany and beyond and those who breach the Public Officers Law may be able to escape ethics-imposed investigation and any referrals for criminal prosecution or punishment that Jcope could have imposed. Instead, the issues of Controlgate could make Jcope impotent, public ethics a farce and as a result undermine public confidence in governance itself. I therefore request our great Governor to appoint a truly independent special prosecutor, pursuant to inter alia, Moreland Act authority, to address issues of Controlgate and thereby restore public confidence in governmental ethics-oversight regime and prevent it from being an unlawful political tool. * Cuomo spox, Batra issue eyebrow-raising JCOPE statements(Capital) * Governor Cuomo said, if true, JCOPE’s move is “unconscionable.” * Ravi Batra To JCOPE: Shape Up Or I Quit | New York Daily News Updated with letter: Ravi Batra resigns from JCOPE(TU) *JCOPE Member Says “Au Revoir” And Resigns | Vote Up! | Vote Up ...(democratandchronicle.com/) * Governor Demands a Probe of Speaker(WSJ)
 


Is State Supreme Court Justice Fern Fisher New York's Judge john Sirica
Judge orders wider Assembly sex harassment probe A state judge on Friday ordered a special prosecutor to expand his probe of a sexual harassment case in the state Assembly to include a secret settlement using public money approved by Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver.  * Judge orders wider Assembly sex harassment probe ...

Vito the Rat Could Take Down the Albany Mafia
Sammy 'The Bull' Gravano — 'The Bull" Becomes "The Rat' — Crime The Bull' Becomes 'The Rat'. Gotti explained away his words to the effect that he was just letting off steam. But Gravano knew there was more to it. Gotti then told ...


 JCOPE Does A Schultz: When It Comes to Silver Hush $$$ They See Nothing 
In NYS Paying Tax Payer Hush $$$ Cover Ups are Legal

Ethics panel declines to probe Sheldon Silver over Lopez settlement(NYP) * New York Ethics Inquiry Won’t Look at Speaker’s Actions(NYT) The state’s Joint Commission on Public Ethics will not probe Speaker Shelly Silver for his role in a sexual harassment settlement and instead focus on charges against Assemblyman Vito Lopez* Ethics Body Eyes Lopez(WSJ) * Plus: Sexual-harassment lawyer Gloria Allred, who represented the two women who received the secret settlement approved by Mr. Silver, said she had already received subpoenas from the commission. [Capitol Confidential] * Shelly Silver Off The Hook For (Taxpayer Funded) Coverup Of Vito Lopez Sex ...(Village Voice) * Good government groups questioned JCOPE’s curious decision to not focus on Shelly Silver in their probe of the Vito Lopez scandal.* Governor Cuomo said, if true, JCOPE’s move is “unconscionable.” *  One member of the ethics panel, Ravi Batra, said this. * A judge ordered the prosecutorial probe to be expanded to Silver’s settlement. * Lopez’s downfall, a Shakespearean tragedy.


Judge Broadens Prosecutor’s Authority in Lopez Case(NYT) * Staten Island DA Donovan Takes Aim At Sheldon Silver(NYDN) * Sheldon Silver, John Sampson, Andrew Cuomo and Kevin Parker. Azi Paybarah(Capital) * Letter: Lopez and Silver should resign(Newsday) * Cuomo Threatens Broader Sex Harassment Investigation(NBC)






Remember When the NYT Uncovered Cover Ups By Pols Rather Than Enabling Them
As the Silver Cover Up Heat Up the NYT Distracts With An Editorial About Moonlighting Lawmakers
Not even a call by the times for reform or more transparency so tax payer hush money cannot be paid by pols to cover up sex abuse
New York’s Moonlighting Lawmakers (NYT) If we are serious about uprooting corruption in Albany, the next step is to make service as a legislator a full-time job and ban outside sources of employment and income for our public officials.




Quick Hide Lopez's Body
Pols Work to Get Him Out to Protect Silver .: if lawmakes unanimously pass reso 4 Vito Lopez 2 resign, "i think he'd have to step down." Sen. Chuck Schumer wants the Assembly to pass a resolution calling on Lopez to quit if he continues to refuse to resign from office amid charges he groped female former staff members * Schumer Wants Resolution Pushing Vito Lopez to Quit(NY Mag) * Bloomberg: Nope, Schumer’s the One Who’s Wrong about Obama and Gun Control(NYO) * Boss loss emboldens borough Democrats (Brooklyn Daily)



Cuomo Threatens Special Prosecutor Today

Special Prosecutor's Probe Widens from Lopez Harassment to Silver Payout(WNYC)* Cuomo threatens broader sex harass investigation(WSJ)


On September 1 True News Said Cuomo Would Have to Appoint A Special Prosecutor

We Need A New Seabury Commission to Clean Up Albany and Go After All of Vito Lopez's Corruption
The Moreland Act: Cuomo's Big Stick To Clean Up Albany 
The Moreland Act
Cuomo's Big Stick
No Faith in Government

The measure gives the Governor broad powers to investigate state departments and institutions, at his own option and with the help of experts, on the theory that he will recommend remedies to the Legislature. The most recent Moreland Act commissions were appointed in 1976, by Gov. Hugh L. Carey, to investigate nursing homes and in 1963, by Gov. Nelson A. Rockefeller, to investigate alcoholic-beverage control laws. Seabury Commission - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia * JCOPE is holding a special meeting this week, probably to discuss this controversy. * Corruption Springs eternal: reining in NY’s shady pols(NYP) * The situation only strengthens Governor Cuomo’s hold on Albany.



If The Governor or Investigators Do Not Clean Up Albany the People Can At A Constitutional Convention in 2017
There are two ways to amend the New York constitution. First, state legislators may identify problems with the political system and propose changes to the people. Second, if politicians benefit from the system's imperfections (as now) and are unlikely to change it, the constitution provides that every 20 years the people can propose necessary revisions. This is where a convention comes in. Our next chance to have one will be in 2017.

The woman-suffrage movement in New York City society leaders securing signatures to petitions to be presented to the constitutional convention - scene at Sherry's / / Clinedinst.



9/6/2012

The Fix in Vito Case Already Done
Vito ‘payoff’ pols off the hook(NYP)Staten Island DA Dan Donovan’s office doesn’t have “the resources to do a full-scale forensic investigation of all the other players” with potential involvement in the Lopez scandal, said a source who was told of the probe. But the probe does not appear to be looking at the roles others in government may have played in arranging or approving a secret $103,800 settlement in an earlier claim of sex harassment by other Lopez staffers.

The Cover Up Starts
Ethics Inquiry Limited to Assemblyman Lopez, not Speaker(NYDN)


Leadership Coup?
The Post’s Andrea Peyser calls Silver the “Joe Paterno of the state capital” for “coddling and enabling filthy sex fiends who infest the state legislature” and calls on him to step down:
New York’s own ‘Paterno’(NYP)  Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver is the Joe Paterno of the state capital. For decades, he has presided over the Albany cesspool, where uninvited touching, underage binge drinking — and alleged rape — are pastimes encouraged by bored legislators and cronies. Silver saw something. He didn’t say something. Instead, he has coddled and enabled filthy sex fiends who infest the state Legislature. He did it with a wink, a smile and hefty checks footed by you, the taxpayer — all in the name of protecting the dysfunctional brand he has spent his working life creating.* Amid Controversy, Silver in Spotlight at DNC (WSJ) * Sheldon Silver facing serious threat to his power(NYDN) Silver could be facing a leadership challenge in the Assembly, as some members are privately assessing whether he could survive a coup * Assembly Democrats “smell blood in the water” and are assessing whether Shelly Silver could survive a coup attempt.* Sheldon Silver ‘Wasn’t Expecting’ to Have His Remarks Cut Off at the DNC(NYO) * Silver’s (Foreshortened) Moment(YNN)
* Critics Say Assemblyman Vito Lopez Is On Blatant Power(NYDN) * Top N.Y. Dems not eager to vilify Speaker Sheldon Silver (SI Advance)



 GOP Moves Against Silver
Republicans Use Lopez Case as a Weapon(NYT) The G.O.P. is seeking to make Assemblyman Vito J. Lopez’s sexual harassment scandal a campaign issue against Democrats.State Republicans are making Assemblyman Vito Lopez’s sexual harassment scandal and Speaker Shelly Silver’s settlement a campaign issue this fall, calling on opponents to denounce Lopez and Silver * The News calls on Brooklyn’s Democratic County Committee members to prevent Lopez from playing a role in the party machine by “shredding his proxy forms”: http://nydn.us/ROoxQV


NYP Says Cover Up of Conspires  
The New York Times supports Eric Schneiderman’s investigation into Bain Capital and other private equity firms.  While the Post thinks it’s all part of a “Gropez coverup.”
Schneidy’s gropez-coverup dodge(NYP Ed) Did the AG and his aides conspire with Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver to hide the $103,000 settlement of charges against Assemblyman Lopez? * Why did his office say it was contacted merely for “an informal consultation” about the deal, when in fact it got three separate e-mails about it, including when it was asked to flag anything “problematic”? * Why didn’t the AG insist that Silver strike the deal’s confidentiality clause — if such a provision really violates Schneiderman’s policy, as he now says it does? * G: Fewer incidents with synthetic drugs since ban(Fox 5)




Not A Word from the NYT About the Albany Scandal . . .  With the Bloggers and the New Found Balls of the NYDN and NYP The NYT Old Way of Containing A Story to Help the Powerful is Not Working

The NYT Distracts The Times calls for the elimination of a loophole allowing for a lower tax rates on capital gains amid Attorney General Eric Schneiderman’s subpoenas of private equity firm tax documents: http://nyti.ms/QbsMv8 * The Post accuses Schneiderman of “changing the subject” with his Wall Street investigations instead of answering questions about his involvement in Vito Lopez’s sexual harassment settlement: http://bit.ly/OR6L0O

9/5/2012

How Badly Will Lopez's Refusal to Leave Hurt Silver His Bag Man? Will Investigations And Exposure of the Real Albany Destroy Both Men? Establishment Moves to Kill Vito
PARTY’S OVER: Less than two weeks ago, Lopez and Speaker Sheldon Silver were among the two most powerful men in New York state politics. Now, a sexual harassment scandal that has dethroned the Brooklyn Democratic boss is weakening Silver, who has been untouchable in the Capitol for more than a decade(CNN) * The News says Silver shares responsibility with Lopez for the “debacle” because he has been unable to remove Lopez from office * Carl Paladino Calls on Silver to Resign(City and State) * Engel calls for Lopez to resign * Turner, Cox Unleash On Silver(YNN) * Albany DA joins Vito Lopez sex harass probe



The most important factor in politics is loyalty. The second most important is respect.” Lopez
If This Brooklyn Kingmaker Is Asking, Saying No Is Risky Option(NYT) Legislators began to debate how to expel Lopez from the Assembly as the Brooklyn lawmaker vowed not to resign over sexual harassment allegations. Lopez has long bullied government officials, colleagues, and housing advocates, including a former director of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, to get jobs for his relatives, according to sources* Lopez Defiant On Calls to Resign(WSJ)




Subpoenas to put the heat-o on Vito(NYP) * The state Joint Commission on Public Ethics voted to open a formal investigation into alleged sexual harassment claims against Lopez and will likely issue subpoenas in the probeLegislators Debate Expulsion in Sexual Harassment Case; Lopez Vows to Remain(NYT) * State Ethics Commission Meets About Lopez Case * The PEF endorsement list is out, and Lopez is on it.

NYP Says Real Crime is Silver's Cover Up 
What Does Lopez Have On Silver . . .  Housing Deals?
They got it covered – up (Goodwin, NYP)  The Post pummels Silver for saying that he counseled Lopez to resign in private and argues the “real scandal” is that Silver orchestrated a publicly funded cover-up of Lopez’s misconduct: The Post’s Michael Goodwin admits an error in his Sunday column but does not regret suggesting that Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and other state officials conspired to keep secret a settlement to two women Lopez allegedly harassed: * Not so fast, Shelly (NYP Ed) The Post pummels Silver for saying that he counseled Lopez to resign in private and argues the “real scandal” is that Silver orchestrated a publicly funded cover-up of Lopez’s misconduct In Sunday’s column, I mistakenly attributed to Attorney General Eric Schneiderman comments made by an outside lawyer in the sexual-harassment case rocking Albany. I regret the error. However, I definitely do not regret suggesting that Schneiderman and other top Democrats conspired to keep secret a payoff to the two women who made the harassment charge against Assemblyman Vito Lopez. In fact, my biggest mistake was in giving the pols any benefit of the doubt. It is clear now they deserve none. Schneiderman and Comptroller Tom DiNapoli dirtied their hands in helping Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver settle the case outside the formal complaint system. Silver wanted the payment of $103,000 in taxpayer money hidden from voters, and aides to Schneiderman and DiNapoli went along. * Schumer: Lawmakers Should Try to Expel Vito Lopez (WSJ) * Zaino: If Sheldon Silver doesn't step aside at convention, Democrats should insist(Newsday) * Buffalo News editorial: "Albany clearly remains what it has been for years: an ethical cesspool" Should Assemblyman Vito Lopez resign? NYS Dem co-chair, Assemblyman Keith Wright: "it's up to him." * .@carlpaladino emails re Sheldon Silver: "Is there no one in the spineless press who has the cohunes 2 stand up 2 this diabolic scoundrel?" * Maloney Says Silver Got Standing Ovation From Delegates(City and State) * Asked directly if he thought Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver should be representing New York during the roll call in Charlotte tonight, Sen. Bill Perkins replied, “No comment.”




Pols Rally By Circling the Wagons
Is Nadler Saysing If I Agree With Your Politics Being A Bag Man for A Sex Harasser Does Not Matter?
Rep. Jerrold Nadler, one of the first elected officials to call on Mr. Lopez to resign, said he doesn't believe the speaker should resign as well. "He made a mistake. He admitted as much," said Mr. Nadler, adding that it's appropriate to await the formal investigation into the speaker's involvement in the case. "As of now, he has a great career as a progressive leader."
“I don’t think [Silver's] in trouble. I think when the facts come out, it will show that the speaker did nothing wrong,” Assemblyman Joe Lentol said. 





9/4/2012

“I WILL NOT CAPITULATE TO THOSE SELF-SERVING TACTICS AND DEMANDS,” Lopez said in his statement without mentioning Silver by name
If This Brooklyn Kingmaker Is Asking, Saying No Is Risky Option(NYT) State Assemblyman Vito J. Lopez, now engulfed in accusations of sexual harassment, demands loyalty, but some criticize what they called heavy-handed tactics. * Legislators Debate Expulsion in Sexual Harassment Case; Lopez Vows to Remain(NYT) * Vito Lopez: Let My Constituents Decide If I Should Stay Or Go(NYDN) * Assemblyman Vito Lopez fires back at Speaker Sheldon Silver who said Lopez ... * Lopez Defiant On Calls to Resign(WSJ)

Subpoenas to put the heat-o on Vito(NYP)




Not so fast, Shelly(NYP)  Let’s not mince words: Lopez is a recidivist molester, a pig who should’ve packed it in long ago.  But the real scandal is the Silver-orchestrated, publicly-funded coverup of Lopez’s sexual misconduct — the $100,000-plus in damages secretly approved by the speaker and checked off on without comment by Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and Comptroller Tom DiNapoli.They’re all Democrats, of course — convening now in Charlotte, NC, to help fellow Democrats condemn the “Republican War on Women.” Without a trace of irony. But Silver is the Assembly’s enabler. Pious public declarations of the “Lopez must resign” sort — fully two weeks into the scandal — are meant simply to change the subject.
Not good enough, Mr. Speaker. Not now.





The Brennan Center and Every Elected Official Should Be Asked, Is the NYS Legislature Any Less Dysfunctional Than It Was in 2004, When They Release Their Report

On July 21, 2004, the Brennan Center released The New York State Legislative Process: An Evaluation and Blueprint for Reform. The report concludes that New York's legislative bodies discourage rank-and-file lawmakers from participating fully in the legislative process and, in turn, deprive citizens of full representation in Albany. In New York State, representative democracy is alive in name more than reality * We’ve Still Got It! When It Comes to Corrupt Pols, New York Is Still Tops (NYO) * “For voters and taxpayers, the ultimate question is whether this scandal changes the way Albany conducts business,” Clyde Haberman wrote. “Or does it keep doing the same old — livin’ la Vito Lopez?”

.The Brennan Center For Justice: Reform of the New York State Legislature * “New York’s legislature is the most dysfunctional in the nation” (Brennan Center) *The Sad State of New York's Government | Brennan Center for Justice(2004)


Retro Silver Bruno BS
In 2004 Senator Bruno called the report ''pure nonsense,'' saying that other Republicans in the Senate confer with him constantly but that it falls to him to lead.  In 2004 Speaker Silver said that he talked to the Democrats who make up his conference all the time. ''Nothing happens here in Albany, in the Assembly, without the input of the rank-and-file legislators,'' he said.

 Including Hush Payments?




NYT It it Time for A Follow Up To Your 2004 Editorial on the Brennan Report . . .  We know that NYU is to preoccupied buying Pols to get zoning clearances?

New York's Fake Legislature (NYT Ed) The most galling part of watching the New York Legislature in action is the sight of thousands of students innocently touring the State Capitol. Their teachers are usually telling them about how democracy works, how Teddy Roosevelt and Al Smith once roamed these very halls, how Mr. Bill becomes Mr. Law in Albany. In reality, what these crowds of young people see is men and women on public salaries, going through the motions. The whole place might as well be made out of cardboard.  As a report released last week from the Brennan Center for Justice at N.Y.U. School of Law has documented, New York's Capitol houses a Potemkin legislature. The Capitol's splendid chambers are for show; voting is automatic once a legislator swipes a card or waves at a clerk at the beginning of each putative workday.

Legislation that goes to the floor always passes -- always -- because the leader in each house has more power than most dictators. The other 210 members either follow their leaders or watch their backs. Mr. Bruno and Mr. Silver, who could change these suffocating rules, were dismissive of the very idea. Mr. Bruno called the proposals ''third world country stuff.'' Clearly New York's leaders need to get around more -- especially to other statehouses in the United States.





Albany A in Dysfunctional  F in Turning Around the State's Economy and Creating Jobs
The Brennan Center's flagship issue in New York is legislative reform. In 2004, the Center released a landmark report documenting in detail the pervasive dysfunction in New York's legislative process and offering a blueprint for reform. Still Broken, our 2008 update on these issues, detailed the reforms made by the Senate and Assembly in 2005 and concluded that the broken legislative process had not been substantially fixed by either chamber. Since the report's release, all of New York's major daily newspapers, from upstate and downstate, have used their editorial pages to call the public's attention to the report's findings. More than 30 organizations from across the political spectrum have endorsed our package of reforms.




Silver Throws Lopez Under the Bus to Try to Save His Own Ass
Tells 'Gropez' to quit Assembly(NYP) If Lopez continues to refuse to step down, Silver said he would be “exploring all legal options” to find a way to boot him out of the Assembly, as Gov. Andrew Cuomo and other state leaders insist he must step down* New York Speaker Says He Asked Lopez to Step Down(NYT) * Silver to Lopez: Resign(WSJ) * Web Extra: Extended Shelly Silver Interview Regarding Vito Lopez(NY1) * EXCLUSIVE: Silver says he asked Vito Lopez to resign(NYDN) Speaker Shelly Silver told Assemblyman Vito Lopez to resign 10 minutes before publicly issuing a letter censuring him for sexual harassment allegations, but Lopez wouldn’t take his advice* Pols rain on Vito at West Indian Day parade(NYDN) * Speaker Silver Demands That Assemblyman Lopez Resign From (WCBS) * NY ethics board expected to take sex harass case(Fox 5) 
Some Republicans say that Attorney General Eric Schneiderman’s review of the tax payments of private equity firms, including Mitt Romney’s former firm, Bain Capital, is “politically motivated,” the Wall Street Journal reports:  * Report: Sheldon Silver Asked Accused Sexual Harasser Vito Lopez to Resign(NY Mag) * State Ethics Board expected to meet on Vito Lopez sexual harassment case. * in Charlotte. Gloria Allred is a member of the Calif delegation. * “He basically was inaudible,” Shelly Silver said of Vito Lopez’s response to his call for him to step down. “I got the impression he didn’t appreciate my advice.” * Celebrity attorney, and California delegate, Gloria Allred was on hand at the convention to press her case on the matter.* Silver said he plans to explore “all legal avenues” to get rid of Lopez if he won’t bow to pressure and go on his own steam.* “Albany’s puppet master has gone too far,” writes Denise Jewell Gee.* State party co-chair Stephanie Minor call Sheldon Silver "a man of integrity."* Vito Lopez Harassment Case Casts Shadow Over New York's Delegates * who made these rules again? MT : 2/8 vote to investigate a leg member must come from party of target. Silver appointed 3/4 dems* Dem Candidate Says He Won’t Back Silver(YNN) * Not The First Time(YNN) * JCOPE Mum On Lopez Probe(YNN) * The Republicans blasted the Democrats for dropping calls for the recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital from their convention platform.* Reps. Carolyn Maloney and Nydia Velazquez will be on the convention stage in Charlotte tonight.* JCOPE met today. Who knows what they talked about though.* Wendy Long thinks Shelly Silver should step aside until the issue is resolved.*  Ed Cox concurred.*Lopez Says He Won’t Resign(Gannett) * Assembly Lopez Says He Won’t Quit in Wake of Sexual Harassment Scandal(NYT) * Vito Lopez Scandal Will Hurt Sheldon Silver (NY Mag)



9/1/2012

The Effects of Getting Caught Allred Handed
Silver to Lopez Resign Now

Breaking Shelly Silver Just Moved From Hush Money to Throwing Vito Lopez Under the Bus in Effort to Save His Own Ass
RT : Vito Lopez should quit assembly: Shelly Silver tells me in long interview. Story at seven. * EXCLUSIVE: Silver says he asked Vito Lopez to resign(NYDN) * Pols rain on Vito at parade(NYDN) * Speaker Says He Asked Assemblyman to Resign(NYT)* Assemblyman Vito Lopez Refused Request to Step Down, Speaker Says(NYT)

Breaking Cuomo wants investigation launched into activities of Vito LopezYNN


8/31/2012
NYP Hitman For Silver
Allred Smashing Silver For NYP Hit Job on the Victims
Allred: Silver, others ‘targeted’ Lopez accusers(TU) In the harshest statement yet in a week of harsh statement from Gloria Allred, the high-profile attorney lambastes Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and “other unnamed political sources,” who she blames for Friday’s New York Post story identifying two of Vito Lopez’s accusers (and noting that one of the women once accused Albany County Legislator Brian Scavo of stalking, a charge that was dismissed).


NYP Albany Mob Enforcer 
Here’s Allred’s latest; we’ve asked Silver’s spokesman for a response:
Today’s article in the New York Post is a litany of false and outrageous statements. First, Speaker Silver and other unnamed political sources targeted the women who complained, by implying falsely that they sought only financial gain and did not want an investigation, and then by releasing their names and what appeared to be out of context and misleading confidential settlement communications to the press. Now, the Speaker and others seem desperately to be trying to target their attorneys. It is time for Mr. Silver to stop his attempts to deflect responsibility for his and the Assembly’s own misconduct and to take a good, hard look in the mirror at the actual events that really occurred.

What Did They Know and When Did They Know It
Watergatge Howard Baker

The Sexual Bully in Albany(NYT Ed) Every day also brings new questions about which officials knew about this behavior and what, if anything, they did to stop it. What justification did Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver have for agreeing to give $103,000 in taxpayer money to settle a harassment claim? Did the comptroller and the attorney general approve both the payout and the decision to hide it from the public? * Officials Briefed on Lopez Settlement(WSJ) Silver consulted extensively with the state Attorney General’s and State Comptroller’s offices before drafting the settlement, according to emails obtained on Thursday * AP: Vito Lopez sex harassment accusers sought $1.2M(Newsday)  * Top legal advisers to Tom DiNapoli and Eric Schneiderman were briefed on the settlement’s financial details.* The New York Times and the Daily News weighed in with their own questions. * New York Times wants Speaker Silver to call for Assemblyman Vito Lopez to resign.

Breaking
Brooklyn D.A. Calls for Special Prosecutor for Vito Lopez(NYO) * Special prosecutor appointed in probe of Lopez grope case(NYP)




Cuomo in the Cat Bird Seat As His Political Rivals Caught Up in A Sexual Harassment Scandal
Some are wondering what Governor Cuomo is doing behind the scenes during this controversy. * According to the WSJ, the Comptroller and Attorney General thoroughly reviewed the six figure settlement with alleged sexuaas harassment victims back in May. * Top legal aides for both Eric Schneiderman and Tom DiNapoli were briefed on the details of Vito Lopez’s settlement..


Secret Assembly Slush Fund Paid Hush Money
The Times reported the secret settlement from the Assembly’s $12 million account for “miscellaneous contractual services,” which can cover all manner of expenses. That such a fund even exists is a measure of the cronyism and corruption that have coddled all manner of misbehavior — both political and personal — in Albany. &The Daily News wonders if Albany is ignoring a culture of sexual harassment.* How @FakeShellySilver handled the scandal.



Schneiderman Caught in Scandal
Attorney General Eric Schneiderman’s office has issued a statement saying that it merely provided Mr. Silver with the usual advice and the model agreements used when complaints against the state are settled. Officials there contend that they knew nothing about a confidentiality clause. Mr. Silver’s people say that the attorney general’s office was brought along virtually every step of the way, and the trail of newly released e-mails appears to back that up. * Schneiderman: OAG gave Assembly a model pre-litigation settlement agreement w/o confidentiality clause. *Schneiderman Blasts Secret Payment(YNN)
 

 DiNapoli Cauth in Scandal
State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli sign off on a $103,000 check without asking what it was for? Mr. DiNapoli’s aides said the check was paid out automatically by computer when it was requested by the Assembly’s computer. Assembly aides said they called the comptroller’s office to make sure they were using the right codes and proper methods for this unusual fee. 


NYT: It’s past time for Mr. Lopez to answer questions. He should resign and Mr. Silver should make that clear to him.

“It appears that the Assembly speaker, in an effort to divert attention from the Assembly’s conduct, is attempting to blame the women who brought claims against Mr. Lopez and then agreed to a settlement.” Gloria Allred



The Police Are Not the Only Ones With A Blue Wall
Assembly Democrats Support Speaker Over Settlement(NYT) Democrats rallied around Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, who faces an inquiry into his handling of sexual harassment allegations against Assemblyman Vito Lopez and criticism from attorney Gloria Allred * Keith Wright Mostly Mum on Lopez, Silver(NYO)



Vito Lopez staffers initially demanded $1.2 million hush payout: sourcesVito Lopez staffers initially demanded $1.2 million hush payout: sources(NYP) Women staffers who accused Lopez of sexually harassing them originally sought $1.2 million in damages, before Silver negotiated a $103,000 settlement after Allred threatened to air details of the incidents


It's time for City Councilwoman Diana Reyna, the former chief of staff for Vito Lopez, to speak up about the disgraced assemblyman (NYDN) Reyna's friends say Lopez made her life 'a living hell.' Sources identify two women who received $103,000 secret payout in Lopez's sexual harassment scandal




8/30/2012


Daily News Calls It A Sexual Harrassment Cover Up
Coverup must end in Vito Lopez sexual harassment cases (NYDN Ed) Speaker Sheldon Silver and others in Albany need to release all relevant info

The News demands Silver release all public information relating to Lopez’s sexual harassment settlement and any similar deals:The Vito Lopez scandal is getting, well, grosser by the minute. The Times spoke to five women who say they were harassed by Lopez while working for him. Among their allegations: He asked some women not to wear bras, referred to others as “well-endowed” and urged another to break up with her boyfriend. Lopez has denied the allegations.


Albany Pigs Go Way Beyond Member Item Pork
Disgraced pol Vito Lopez's fmr. chief-of-staff ID'd as sex-harass settler(NYP) Leah Hebert, 29, worked for more than a year in Lopez’s Brooklyn office until she was terminated June 7 — the same day that an invoice for that settlement was submitted to the Assembly, records show. One of the alleged victims who received a share of the settlement is Lopez’s former chief of staff who worked in his Brooklyn office for more than a year and whose salary was slashed for unknown reasons in January *Women who worked for Vito Lopez are talkingCapital New York * One Vito Lopez aide left and went to work against him | Capital New York *E-mails: Vito Lopez sex harass accusers sought $1.2M(NYP)


For Aide Claims Lopez Was Sexually Hostile

“Vito doesn’t hire ugly girls,” Ms. Friot said

Women Employed by Lawmaker Describe Sexually Hostile Office(NYT) Lopez told some women not to wear bras to work. He requested they wear short skirts and high heels. He gave them cash to buy jewelry and complimented them on their figures, giving special attention to those he called “well endowed.” Five women who worked for Lopez said he made frequent sexual advances, requested they dress provocatively, and asked invasive personal questions in his office, and they feared reprisals if they complained * AP: Vito Lopez sex harassment accusers sought $1.2M (NewsDay) The records also show that Silver, accused by some of a cover-up to protect Lopez, had extensive help from outside the chamber in crafting the legal settlement that had been cloaked in a confidentiality agreement until Thursday. The records show Silver's counsel worked through three drafts of the settlement with staff from the Attorney General's Office and state Comptroller's Office.
The documents appear to show a larger role in the Assembly sex harassment settlement by the Attorney General's and Comptroller's offices than those offices previously stated. Spokesmen for Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli have said lower-level workers had little say in the settlement and no power to question or stop it.

 Everyday Was No Bra Day At Lopez's Office
Ms. Friot, 28, said that Mr. Lopez never directly harassed her but that “there was a certain culture where behaviors like that were permissible.” Another woman described “an atmosphere of intimidation,” an environment where she and other former staff members said Mr. Lopez veered between crude jokes and fierce tirades.* 2 Women Received $32,000 From Assemblyman, Beyond Money From State




 Vito's Sock Puppet Seddio "What Harassment" " Changing of the Guard of What?
Lopez protégé Frank Seddio — the favorite to replace Lopez as Brooklyn Democratic leader — yesterday expressed doubt that the alleged harassment occurred, despite the settlement payout and the Assembly committee’s censure vote. Frontrunner to take over Brooklyn Democratic Party Frank(NYDN) * Frank Seddio pitched himself as a changing of the guard. * “It’s kind of like running a marathon, where I’m coming in number one and she’s number 6,367,” he said of one of his rivals, Jo Anne Simon. * One pro-Seddio district leader was not amused by the Draft Karim Camara movement. * An anonymous Lopez foe connected Steve Levin to the issue.* No Consensus for Camara; Seddio Seems Set to Replace Vito Lopez (NYO) * Frank Seddio hired George Arzt to handle his communications effort. It’s an interesting contrast with Vito Lopez, who genuinely did not believe in the press.


Even the local TV News is covering 
Will Vito take Silver down with him?(WCBS) Female Employees of State Assemblyman Describe Harassment (NBC)  The women's description of a hostile and sexualized workplace comes amid outrage over a secret $103,000 tax-payer funded settlement


Maloney Focusing On Silvers Reforms Not On What Happen
Silver the Bully? Where is the Woman Legislators Outrage Over the Sexual Harassment Payoffs
Feminist 'trailblazer' Maloney backs Silver's coverup(NYDN)'Feminist trailblazer' Carolyn Maloney praises Sheldon Silver for acting 'decisively' to punish Vito Lopez, but makes no mention of $103G payout to make sexual harassment case against Brooklyn Democrat go away Maloney’s endorsement of Silver stands in contrast to her record as an advocate for women’s issues * Carolyn Maloney Praises Sheldon Silver?(Artist) * NY Pols Walk Fine Line In Criticizing Shelly Silver Over Vito Lopez Scandal(NYDN)




Silver's Damage Control BS
Silver the Payments Where "Both Legal and Ethical"  . . .  Legal? For sure. The Legislature writes all the rules — especially those that protect legislators
Silver's office said any decision not to refer accusations against Lopez to the Assembly’s Ethics Committee would have been made at the victims’ request — and their lawyer adamantly, and damningly, denies they did. And Silver continues to insist — as he did again yesterday — that the payment, and his decision not to refer the accusation against Lopez to the Ethics Committee, were “both legal and ethical.” . . .  ‘I welcome a JCOPE investigation,” said Shelly Silver to the world yesterday. Sure he does — just like a cobra welcomes a mongoose -NYP * Silver fights fallout from secret deal: * Silver Faces Possible Ethics Inquiry(WSJ) * Assembly Speaker Under Fire For Lopez Actions(NY1) * Speaker Silver Accused of "Cover Up"(NYDN) * Would a JCOPE Investigation Into Vito Lopez Settlement Matter?(Bragg)* Republican Assemblyman Steve Katz is calling for Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver to resign and compared him to disgraced former Penn State football coach Joe Paterno.

DiNapoli's "Legal Services" Bag Money
The Bear Mountain Pack Is Dead . .  What Happens In Albany No Longer Stays in Albany
Meanwhile, a spokesman for Attorney General Eric Schneiderman clarified the role the state’s top lawyer played in the six-figure settlement.  The spokesman said the office “received unsolicited drafts of a settlement agreement, made one recommendation clarifying that the Assembly was the employer, and provided a model prelitigation settlement agreement, which included neither a confidentiality agreement nor any monetary terms.” . . . Indeed, both Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and state Comptroller Tom DiNapoli have had to answer questions over their own roles in the burgeoning mess regarding the hush money secretly paid to Assemblyman Vito Lopez’s first sexual-harassment victim. * DiNapoli’s Office Distances Itself From Lopez Scandal(YNN)* According to emails, DiNapoli's general counsel, Nancy Groenwegen, also received copies of the draft Lopez agreements.



Meanwhile, DiNapoli’s office approved the request for payment from Silver’s office and cut the check — ostensibly for “legal services” — without exhibiting even the slightest curiosity about what it was for. Both Schneiderman and DiNapoli, it should be recalled, come from the Legislature. The latter, in fact, was hand-picked by Silver for his current job — which speaks volumes about the incestuous nature of Albany politics.




Will the Investigates Limit Their Scope?
Silvers Reps on JCOPE would have to vote for an investigation of Silver before an investigations starts
Which is why Cuomo set up JCOPE in the first place. He has clear operational control of the body — which, The Post reports, plans an investigation that will “focus on the process” by which the money was paid.  That’s not nearly enough, of course.  But such a probe would crack open Albany’s notoriously closed doors.  Silver. Schneiderman. DiNapoli. What did they know, when did they know it and what did they do about it?  * Two groups filed a formal complaint on Wednesday asking for the state ethics commission to investigate Speaker Shelly Silver’s handling of sexual harassment complaints against Lopez, the Wall Street Journal reports: * JCOPE called a “special meeting” on Sept. 4. No additional details were available, but speculation is this will mark the start of the investigation into the Assemblyman Vito Lopez sexual harassment scandal.


Albany Pigs Go Way Beyond Member Items Pork
Common Cause and National Organization of Women-New York City filed a complaint on Wednesday urging the state Joint Commission on Public Ethics to investigate embattled Assemblyman Vito Lopez’s past conduct and look into whether his current and former staff had any knowledge of harassment. That includes Councilman Steve Levin, who served as Lopez’s chief of staff from 2006 to 2009. Good government groups want to find out what Levin knew and when he knew it, though Levin told the Post that no instances of sexual harassment occurred when he worked as Lopez’s staffer. (City and State) * Former Vito Lopez Staffers Describe Hostile Work Environment(WNYC) * Ladies, Assemblyman Vito Lopez Would Prefer You Not Wear A Bra To Work(Village Voice)

8/29/2012

1st Woman Who Claims Lopez Was Sexually Hostile

“Vito doesn’t hire ugly girls,” Ms. Friot said

Women Employed by Lawmaker Describe Sexually Hostile Office(NYT) Lopez told some women not to wear bras to work. He requested they wear short skirts and high heels. He gave them cash to buy jewelry and complimented them on their figures, giving special attention to those he called “well endowed.”
 Everyday Was No Bra Day At Lopez's Office
Ms. Friot, 28, said that Mr. Lopez never directly harassed her but that “there was a certain culture where behaviors like that were permissible.” Another woman described “an atmosphere of intimidation,” an environment where she and other former staff members said Mr. Lopez veered between crude jokes and fierce tirades.* 2 Women Received $32,000 From Assemblyman, Beyond Money From State


What Silver Says, What Silver Mean

Mad magazine used to have a recurring feature called what they say what they mean, in which they had two comic strips.  The first one was what they person says.  The second strip explained what that person really meant.  Three days ago a Silver spokesman said, "that the only situation where a complaint isn’t referred to the ethics committee is when a victim asks for personal privacy. (WNYC)  Yesterday afternoon a statement Tuesday from Gloria Allred, an attorney for the woman, said they have “never requested or instead that a legislative committee or other body not proceed with an investigation.” After Allred statement Silver was caught lying and decided to confess to save his job. * Assembly Speaker Under Fire For Lopez Actions (NY1)



The Bear Mountain Pack Is Dead . .  What Happens In Albany No Longer Stays in Albany
Makes shocking confession on Vito deal(NYP) Makes shocking confession on Vito deal. A state ethics committee created by Gov. Cuomo has launched a potentially damning probe into the six-figure Assembly payout to two of Vito Lopez’s alleged sex-harassment victims — a deal Speaker Sheldon Silver now admits he green-lighted, sources said yesterday. The Joint Commission on Public Ethics has launched a probe into the Assembly’s $103,080 settlement for Lopez’s harassment claim, which did not appear before the ethics committee, according to sources* Some candidates are still seeking to tie their opponent’s to Lopez’s woes.



Cuomo’s on the case(NYP Ed) Cuomo yesterday took effective custody of the Sheldon Silver-Vito Lopez sexual-harassment scandal — urging his hand-tooled Joint Commission on Public Ethics to work its way to the bottom of Albany’s latest bubbling cesspool. * ssembly Speaker Admits Fault in Lopez Scandal(NYT) * Speaker Admits Mistake(WSJ) * Embattled Assemblyman Out As Brooklyn Democratic Chair(NY1) * Vito Lopez will give up his Bklyn Dem chairmanship(NYDN) *Silver must come clean (NYDN Ed)  Probe of $103K payout 2 Vito Lopez victim will "focus on the process", i.e. Sheldon Silver's role * Gloria Allred joined the chorus of criticism on Vito Lopez’s taxpayer-funded settlement.
 


Weiner Confession Failed to Save Him, Will Silver's Mea Copa
“I take full responsibility in not insisting that all cases go to the ethics committee.” “The Assembly (1) should not agree to a confidential settlement, (2) should insist that the basic factual allegations of any complaint be referred to the ethics committee for a full investigation and (3) should publicly announce the existence of any settlement, while protecting the identity of the victims,” Silver said. * "Daily News has filed a Freedom of Information request for all documents related to" $103K Lopez payment * Silver ‘Welcomes’ JCOPE Investigation(YNN) * Common Cause, NOW NYC File JCOPE Complaint Over Lopez(YNN)


 Schneiderman and DiNapoli Involved in Silver Lopez Cover Up
 The deal also was well-known to more state officials than previously thought, The Post has learned. A lawyer in Attorney General Eric Schneiderman’s office reviewed the settlement and made a recommendation on it, although neither the lawyer nor Schneiderman was involved in its approval, said a top aide to the AG. State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli’s office cut the check for it.



Women's Groups Who Were Silent
The president of the National Organization for Women of New York City, Sonia Ossorio, said Silver’s feet need to be held to the fire. Kevin Mintzer, the lawyer for the two other women whose complaints led to Lopez’s censure, demanded that the Brooklyn kingmaker be immediately forced to give up his Assembly seat.






Silver the Bully?
Feminist 'trailblazer' Maloney backs Silver's coverup(NYDN)'Feminist trailblazer' Carolyn Maloney praises Sheldon Silver for acting 'decisively' to punish Vito Lopez, but makes no mention of $103G payout to make sexual harassment case against Brooklyn Democrat go away Maloney’s endorsement of Silver stands in contrast to her record as an advocate for women’s issues,


Lopez, in resigning his local party post, said he did so because of an “onslaught of character attacks.’’But a Brooklyn party source said Lopez doesn’t want to give up his Assembly seat because he is still hoping to get rid of Lincoln Restler, a fellow district leader who could challenge Lopez’s protégé, City Councilman Steve Levin.


Vito uses Ridgewood-Bushwick as his personal piggy bank for decades and no one cares. Then he touches a girl's leg...


DiNapoli Who Drafted Lopez Silver's Hush Fund Now Says the Speaker Moved Quickly to Address Sexual  Harassment

State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli said that embattled Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver had moved quickly to address sexual harassment scandals, but he wouldn’t speculate on Silver’s future, State of Politics reports: http://bit.ly/18YHQSD

Comptroller DiNapoli's office drafted Vito Lopez 'hu$h' - New York Post

  





Cuomo Looks to Place Karim As His Brooklyn Boss, Vito Wants Seddio
The politically split boro with saw GOP Turner and Strobin win and is in which Romney can win large sections of the borough can only be held together by a Cuomo backed guy and nicer way of say a puppet
 A former judge and civil rights lawyer lead crowded  pack(NYDN)  Council candidate and former judge Frank Seddio is one of the leading candidates to replace Lopez, who said he would not seek re-election as chairman of the Brooklyn Democratic Party next month*




8/28/2012

The King is Dead
End Of the Vito Lopez Era
Lopez Will Not Run For ReElection As Party Chair Breaking .: "I am announcing that I will not be seeking the position of party chair of the Kings County Democratic Party."



"The charges made against me are unfair and untrue. Never did I intentionally touch or attempt to kiss the complainants." Vito Lopez

Why You Pay the Hush Money Ass Hole? 





Silver Lopez New York's Joe Paterno Sandusky
Pay to Play Sexual Abuse Cover Up
Albany's Blue Wall of Silence: No Outrage By Members
Lopez, as sketchy a pol as they come, now turns out to be a serial molester. And Silver has been an enabler — and, effectively, his paymaster.  Vito Lopez needs to go. Shelly Silver needs to come clean.  Now. . calls Vito Lopez a "serial molester" & NYS Assembly Speaker Sheldon SIlver his "enabler"  * Daily News: Speaker Sheldon Silver’s handling of case against Vito Lopez needs full probe"A hushed up settlement with tax dollars is not in the public interest * Albany’s enforcement mechanisms — supposedly bolstered by Cuomo — broke down badly when it came to Lopez."  * Rumors of an Albany housecleaning have been greatly exaggerated * The Times urges Lopez to resign from the state assembly and demands the state’s Joint Commission on Public Ethics begin investigating the matter:  The Daily News calls for a full probe of the Lopez harassment incidents and the events that led the Assembly to settle one claim:  * Newsday praises state officials for getting serious about cleaning up Albany, but worries that pols will continue to violate the law or breach ethical standards: * The TU says it’s time for Lopez to go. *State Paid $103,000 to Settle Sexual Harassment Lawsuit Against Vito Lopez(NY Mag) * Vito Lopez Sexual Harassment Claims Settled By Sheldon Silver's Authorization Of Secret Payment(Huff Post) *"this could be worse than the Michael Boxley affair"-- re: Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver's handling of Vito Lopez case.* Tax $ Settled Assembly Sex Claim: Report(NBC) * “Vito Lopez is a sexual predator who should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law with both criminal and civil charges against him,” Lincoln Restler said. “His corrupt reign has, fortunately, come to an end.” * Citizens Union would like JCOPE to take a look into the settlement with Lopez’s first sexual harassment allegation. *  Governor Cuomo agreed that the ethics panel needs to do something. * Cuomo Wants Facts In Lopez Investigation(YNN) * Gloria Allred, who represented at least one woman who settled with Lopez, said her firm has “never requested or insisted that a legislative committee or other body not proceed with an investigation.” * (Another Bragg piece): NYC Councilman Dan Halloran is campaigning for Congress on a shoestring budget, and was able to travel to Israel – in style – thanks to funding from a Brooklyn nonprofit, the World Committee.



Bloomberg Doing His Best Sargent Schultz "I know Nothing"On Lopez
., asked whether should resign, says "it's up to the albany legislature to investigate" ., asked whether assembly payment was appropriate, said "I just don't know what laws are"* Bloomberg Declines to Opine on Vito Lopez’s Woes(NYO)







Silver Spokesman Victim Asked for Privacy 
A spokesman for Silver’s office said that the only situation where a complaint isn’t referred to the ethics committee is when a victim asks for privacy. (WNYC)

Gloria Allred Not True
A statement Tuesday from Gloria Allred, an attorney for the woman, said they have “never requested or instead that a legislative committee or other body not proceed with an investigation.”
 



The DN editorial board says: Spill the Vito Lopez secrets 
The New York Times called on Lopez to step down, while the New York Post and the Daily News put the heat on Shelly Silver instead.
Shelly buys silence(NYP) Was Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver’s lightning-fast crackdown last week on a powerful colleague charged with sexually harassing two female interns meant to divert attention from his own misuse of public money? * Last night, in response to a FOIL request, the amount was disclosed: $103,080, paid two months ago. * Assembly Paid $103,000 in Harassment Case(NYT) Sheldon Silver, the New York State Assembly speaker, authorized the secret payment to settle sexual harassment claims against Assemblyman Vito J. Lopez, according to Assembly records. Assemblyman Vito Lopez denied charges he sexually harassed female staff members and has “no intention of resigning,” but records showed Speaker Shelly Silver approved a $103,080 payment to settle his claim. Lawmaker Denies Sexual Charges(WSJ) *Looks like Vito's grabby tendencies cost taxpayers $103k(NYDN) * copy of "Quick Pay Voucher" suggesting there was a $100K settlement for a prior Vito Lopez case. * The voucher said the money was used for "legal services." [Erik Kriss] * A Silver spokesman said alleged victims can request that sexual harassment cases not be referred to the Assembly's ethics committee. [Jon Campbell] Lots of Buzz about Lopez stepping down (NYO)


Gevalt. The Senate is a mess. The press should focus on this... RT Queens Sen. Shirley Huntley indicted
There is precedent for such action.
Back in 2003, Silver’s chief counsel, Michael Boxley, plea-bargained his way out of a rape charge leveled by a 22-year-old legislative intern — after which it came to light that two years earlier, another staffer had charged Boxley with sexually assaulting her.he.  The first victim subsequently sued — pocketing a $507,500 payment, plus legal fees, with all but $20,000 of the bill being borne by the taxpayers.


Deep Throat: Follow the Money
Daily News The $103,080 does not represent the full size of the settlement"

NYT leaves out Naomi Rivera when writing about the latest Albany scandals.  Has never talked about  Naomi Rivera
The Bronx establishment is going all-out to save Naomi Rivera.* The Bronx Democratic County Leader Carl Heastie is "unwavering" in his support for Assemblywoman Naomi Rivera, who is the subject of four ongoing investigations. [Sally Goldenberg]


John Liu is the Only Mayoral Candidate Who Has Not Demanded That Lopez Resign.
Liu is also the one responsible to find out if Lopez's Bushwick non profit paid part or the hush money.  We need an independent auditor



NYT Scandal Needs Outside Investigation Outside the Legislative Cocoon.
Latest Scandals From Albany(NYT Ed) The cleanup has started in Albany, but as the Vito Lopez and Shirley Huntley cases prove, it is far from done. The Lopez case begs for a more thorough investigation by those outside the legislative cocoon. If they have not already started, the state’s new Joint Commission on Public Ethics as well as the local Albany prosecutor should each be opening a file on Mr. Lopez. At least three women have been brave enough to complain officially about being abused by this politically powerful man. Were there others? Mr. Silver’s confidential settlement arrangement also demands a close look. More distressing, however, was Cuomo’s seeming lack of curiosity in the matter. * One of Vito Lopez's accusers deactivated her social media profiles before ethics report released

Albany's Crime Culture
If Outsides Investigated Corruption For Real in Albany 90% Of the Elected Officials Would Be Sitting In Jail
“All I know is what I’ve read in the newspapers,” said the man who so famously tracks the fall of every sparrow in the Empire State. To his credit, Cuomo did call for Lopez’s resignation from the Assembly."NYP * “Albany’s enforcement mechanisms — supposedly bolstered by Cuomo — broke down badly when it came to Lopez,” Bill Hammond opined.* Cuomo on the use of taxpayer dollars to settle a sexual harassment claim: “Well that happens all the time, right? You have a car accident. The state driver was negligent, the state pays damages. So the state often pays for damages of public officials.”*  New York Ethics: Corruption Crackdowns Rising In State(Huff Post) * Gov: Pols wanna raise for THIS? (NYDN)


Four Ways Vito Lopez reshaped New York The New York World

 1. Hello hipsters, bye-bye business * 2. Costly tax breaks for real estate developers 3. Grants for the grassroots 4. Big money for Brooklyn







8/27/2012

Silver Pays Hush Money Nobody Notices
How Many Times Has Lopez Attacked Young Woman? . . . Where Are the Calls for An Investigation . . . Most of the Pols and District Leaders in Brooklyn who can start a movement to dump him as county leader are Silent in Hiding not answering reporters calls



Lopez's Member Item Hush Money Possible
NY Paid Update New York Paid to Settle Complaint Against Lopez(NYT) The previous claim was brought by at least one other woman who worked for Mr. Lopez and was represented by Gloria Allred, the prominent Los Angeles lawyer. Other money controlled by Mr. Lopez was used in addition to the $103,080 in state funds, people with knowledge of the deal said — though it was not clear if it was personal funds, campaign funds or funds affiliated with his nonprofit group. 



Lopez Circle His Machine Wagons to Fight Cuomo
Cuomo called on Assemblyman Vito Lopez to resign after being censured for sexually harassing two staff members and allies are urging Lopez not to run for re-election as party chairman next month
Cuomo: Vamoose, Vito!Cuomo: Vamoose, Vito!(NYP) * Cuomo Calls for Resignation of Brooklyn Assemblyman(NYT) * Cuomo Calls on Vito Lopez to Step Down(WSJ) * Cuomo joins chorus calling for Lopez to resign(NYDN) * "instructed [Vito] Lopez that she wud no longer b required 2 show up 4 work but would remain on his payroll" * Lopez had several attractive interns with short stints at his office:(NYDN) * Would private-sector version of alleged harasser Vito Lopez get "fired in a heartbeat" (as per Daily News)? Maybe not if it's Forest City and Jim Stuckey(Atlantic Yards Reports) * Even the establishment-friendly Thomas Jefferson club, headed by Frank Seddio, is set to urge Lopez to step aside.* "I agree with the governor. he should resign"--GOP Leader Skelos to  

Lopez: Charges ‘Unfair And Untrue…No Intention Of Resigning’(YNN)

* Which Races Are Most Affected by Vito Lopez’s Implosion?(NYO) * Robinson, Simon Floated as Next Brooklyn Dem Chair if Lopez is Ousted(YNN) * Onetime Vito Lopez supporter predicts a shutout in Brooklyn(Capital) * Harassment Charges--Not Corruption Probes--Do Most Damage To ...(NYDN) * Bill Thompson and Kirsten Gillibrand piled on the Vito Lopez scandal. * Cuomo declined to comment on reports that Shelly Silver shelved a previous sexual harassment allegation against Lopez. * Betty-Ann Canizio, a district leader who was previously a big supporter of Lopez, declared, ”I can’t condone a predator. As much as I like him, I can’t.”

8/25/2012
Yesterday Was St Valentine's Day for the Lopez Gang,Today is St Valentine's Day for the Silver Gang
Breaking Big  

Albany Armageddon The Horror of It All
Vito's Used Public Fund For Early Sexual Harassment Settlement
Silver Part of the Cover-Up
Breaking Sunday NYT Sunday Before Censure, a Hushed Settlement Against Assemblyman(NYT) The previous accusation against Assemblyman Vito J. Lopez, who is also the head of the Brooklyn Democratic Party, was settled earlier this year at least in part with public funds, a confidentiality agreement and a mandatory sexual harassment workshop
 
Silver Settled A Lopez Sexual Harassment Case With Gloria Allred - Calling Geraldo

Vito's Sexual Harassment Fixer
"Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver quietly settled at least one sexual harassment accusation against a powerful Brooklyn assemblyman before censuring him on Friday for sexually harassing two other female employees, people with knowledge of the agreement said." NYT 


*** How Many Other Sexual Harassment Cover-Ups? Where is JCOPE?
One claim against Vito Lopez reportedly settled secretl (NYDN)

‘political death’ of lopez‘political death’ of lopez(NYP) * Lawmaker Is Censured Over Sexual Harassment(NYT) * Lawmaker Censured on Sexual Harassment(WSJ) * Vito Lopez, Powerful Brooklyn Democrat, Faces Sexual Harassment Claims(WSJ) * Brooklyn Assemblyman Vito Lopez Slammed for Sexual Harassment(NY Mag)
NY Daily News Says Vito Must Go Legislature is no place for a sexual predator  Brooklyn boss Vito Lopez must disprove sex charges or quit * ‘Horndog’ Vito staffers: Always dress down!(NYP) * Vito Lopez faces cascade of calls to resign after sex harass(NYDN) * Living in a Post-Vito World(Prospect Heights Patch) * Angelo Falcón took a look at the post-Vito Lopez era and what it means for Latino politics.* Times: Assembly Speaker Settled Previous Harassment Claim Against Vito Lopez(NY1)Cuomo Calls for Censured Brooklyn Assemblyman to Resign(NYT)
* Cuomo joins chorus calling for Lopez to resignNYDN) * Sheldon Silver Actually Settled Other Sexual Harassment Case Against Vito Lopez (Gothamist)



Leading From Behind
re: allegations against Vito Lopez: "... if they are true, he must resign.”* While the Daily News questioned the timing of Shelly Silver’s censure of Vito Lopez Friday. * A Republican called on Lopez to step down.

Cuomo: It is Not Your Night Anymore Vito Lopez
Cuomo calls for Vito Lopez to resign in wake of censure for sexually harassing female staffers(NYP) * Gov. Cuomo has added his voice to a group of influential elected officials calling on Brooklyn Assemblyman Vito Lopez to resign following his censure for sexually harassing two former female staffers   * Gov. Cuomo calls for resignation of Assemblyman Vito Lopez: Governor Andrew Cuomo has joined other lawmakers in ... 

8/24/2012

053Vito Lopez Losing Housing Committee After Sexual Harassment Allegations(NYO)


Stripped of chairman's post, perks after panel finds verbal, physical harassment(NYP) * Brooklyn Assemblyman Is Censured for Sexual Harassment(NYT) * NEW KINGS DEMOCRATS DEMANDS RESIGNATION OF BROOKLYN DEMOCRATIC BOSS VITO LOPEZ *

New York - Powerful Assemblyman Vito Lopez Loses Post In Sex Harassment Case

 

Vito Lopez, powerful Brooklyn assemblyman, stripped of leadership post after committee finds he sexually harassed 2 employees  

The powerful Brooklyn Democratic boss created a hostile work environment through “unwelcome verbal and physical conduct” that escalated over time, including one instance where he placed his hand “as far up between [a staffer’s] legs” as he could go, according to an Assembly ethics committee report made public Friday * “Vito Lopez was accused of sexual misconduct?” Lew Fidler said, after being informed of Vito Lopez’s allegations. “You could knock me over with a feather right now. Of all of the things that I would expect to hear about Vito Lopez, that was the last.” * ”We have reached out to Assemblyman Lopez’s office, and are awaiting a response.” A state Democratic Party spokesman declined to comment. Gatemouth wrote Lopez’s swan song. * “I’ve never seen Vito Lopez act inappropriate,” District Leader Betty Ann Canizio tweeted. “He has always shown me kindness & respect. Still have doubts about harassment allegations.” * Assemblyman Vito Lopez told the DN the sexual harassment charges against him are “unfounded” and he has no intention of resigning. * Assemblywoman Deborah Glick: “This was surprising because it wasn’t the first thing I’d have thought of (about Vito Lopez), but the fact that men behave badly? That’s kind of endemic and not just to Albany.” * Amid Calls To Quit, Vito Lopez Says He Won't(NYDN)
Several likely 2013 NYC mayoral contenders – Manhattan BP Scott Stringer, Public Advocate Bill de Blasio, publisher Tom Allon, and Council Speaker Chris Quinn – were quick with calls for Lopez to resign. A state Democratic Party spokesman had no comment. Nothing from Cuomo, either…yet. * Assemblyman Vito Lopez Removed From Housing Committee Chairmanship Amid Sexual Harassment Allegations [UPDATED] * Vito Lopez, Powerful Brooklyn Democrat, Faces Sexual Harassment Claims(WSJ)  * Naomis next, Shelly(NYP)



Albany's Stealth Member Items Pork
  NY state Senate funding $31M pork-barrel 'member-item' spending despite pledgeNY state Senate funding $31M pork-barrel 'member-item' spending despite pledge(NYP) Pols are quietly pigging out on $31 million worth of new pet projects — despite a 2010 pledge that pork-barrel spending was done for good, the Post has learned. The new spending is hidden in the budget as state Dormitory Authority grants — and they fund everything from buying cars and washing machines for nonprofits to designing pedestrian plazas and sprucing up community centers. Since the authority issues bonds, future taxpayers will pay for the pork — plus interest. The Jamaica Business Resource Center is getting $100,000 to spruce up its building, courtesy of Sen. Malcolm Smith (D-Queens). The Spanish Language Repertory Company in Chelsea, which already received $250,000 this year for a translation system that rivals the one at the Metropolitan Opera, is getting another $250,000 for unspecified purposes. Sen. Liz Krueger (D-Manhattan) is the sponsor.

Sexual Abuse Lobbyists


Boxley’s return comes as the Legislature grapples with sex-harassment accusations lodged against Brooklyn Assemblyman Vito Lopez.


Sexual Abusers Do Well In Albany
Sex-rap Shel aide returns as lobbyist (NYP) Michael Boxley, the former top aide to Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver who was convicted of sexually abusing a legislative staffer, has re-emerged as principal in one of Albany’s top lobbying firms. Boxley, 53, is a registered lobbyist for Brown & Weinraub, the seventh largest firm lobbying in the state, advocating for its clients across state government, including the Assembly where he once worked. Boxley’s return comes as the Legislature grapples with sex-harassment accusations lodged against Brooklyn Assemblyman Vito Lopez.Boxley subsequently quit the Assembly after he pleaded guilty to sexual misconduct to settle the rape charges. The misdemeanor crime required him to file as a sex offender, serve six years’ probation and triggered a suspension of his law license.  State records show that Boxley is registered as lobbyist for CAMBA, a not-for-profit social-services group in Brooklyn; Aeon Nexus Corporation; Caseus Energy, a California-based firm that produces ethanol; and Dominion Voting Systems. Michael Boxley, the former top aide to Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver who was convicted of sexually abusing a legislative staffer, has re-emerged as principal in one of Albany’s top lobbying firms, Brown & Weinraub.





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