Despite having spent hundreds of thousands of dollars in taxpayer money to cover up multiple sexual harassment allegations against Brooklyn Democrat Vito Lopez, Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver was cleared of any wrongdoing, both criminally and ethically, earlier this month.
The panel that exonerated Silver, the Assembly Ethics Committee, is chaired by fellow Democrat, Charles Lavine. But Lavine also co-chairs the Legislative Ethics Commission, a panel currently reviewing a 58-page report on the scandal and subsequent cover-up, which will determine what, if any sanctions may be implemented.
So what does one Democrat investigating another for ethical wrongdoing here in New York do?
Why, immediately host a fundraiser with his colleague as “honored guest”, of course!
Via the New York Post:
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.”
Assemblyman Charles Lavine (D-LI) even notes on the invite that he chairs the Assembly’s Ethics Committee.
“This is a very common practice done in the New York State Assembly, and I very much value the friendship and the leadership of the speaker,” Lavine told the Post yesterday when asked about the fund-raiser. “I’m very honored that he agreed to be a featured 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.
On a side note, guess who named Lavine to his current Ethics Committee post? You bet … Sheldon Silver.