Updated: 12:00 AM ET May 16, 2013
Speak Up, WNY Assembly Dems! Albany Reps Sadly Silent on Silver, Lopez By Nicholas Langworthy
Nicholas Langworthy is Chairman of the Erie County Republican Committee. Where do members of the Western New York Democratic Assembly Delegation stand on the leadership of Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and disgraced Assemblyman Vito Lopez? Taxpayers deserve an answer today. It has been made clear through the reports of the Special Prosecutor and New York State Joint Commission on Public Ethics that Vito Lopez broke the Public Officers Law, created a hostile work environment and violated his female staff with a disgusting series of incidents of sexual harassment. He should resign immediately or be expelled. And if Western New York Democratic Assembly Members do not act to force that expulsion, they condone this reprehensible behavior towards women in the workplace. Speaker Sheldon Silver went out of his way to shield Vito Lopez from public scrutiny and punishment. Silver violated the rules of his chamber by not acting and investigating the charges when they first came up. He facilitated a cover up and a secret payment of taxpayer dollars to the victims in exchange for their silence. This is not the first instance of the Speaker using his tremendous power to cover up a sex crime as he did when his staffer Michael Boxley raped another Assembly staff member. Sheldon Silver has violated the public trust and must step aside as Speaker of the Assembly. Do Assembly members Sean Ryan, Dennis Gabryszak, Robin Schimminger, and Crystal Peoples still support Sheldon Silver as Speaker of the New York State Assembly? They all dutifully voted for Silver back in January. Will these elected officials stand with women who were subjected to inhumane treatment and had their dignity stripped away by Vito Lopez? Or will they bow down to self interest, protecting their own office budgets and committee assignments, and continue to pledge their allegiance to the morally corrupt Speaker Sheldon Silver? Do Assembly Democrats Ryan, Gabryszak, Schimminger, and Peoples back Sheldon Silver, or not? Given the facts that have come to light, they owe all Western New Yorkers an answer today.