Downstate Democrat Assemblyman Vito Lopez not only leered at a 14-year-old intern and encouraged other women in his office to dress as “sexy” as the teen does, but his remarks were so startling that it prompted another staffer’s mother to call 911, and the police to file a sexual harassment/child abuse report, according to the Daily News.
Remember, this is the same man that Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver used hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars to shield from sexual harassment charges.
We reported on this incident last month. Here’s a little background…
The uber-creepy story of an Assemblyman who can’t keep his eyes and hands off of his employees, just got a little creepier.
Over the summer, Vito Lopez (D-Brooklyn) got himself caught up in a sexual harassment scandal involving complaints from two women regarding the Assemblyman’s unwanted advances. The accusations came after Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver had already paid two other women to keep quiet about similar accusations, using over $103,000 in taxpayer hush money.
The newfound charges resulted in a harsh punishment from the Speaker, apparently feeling slighted for having already covered up the sexual harassment once. Lopez was unanimously rebuked by the Standing Committee on Ethics and Guidance, stripping him of his Housing Committee chairmanship, cutting off funding and resources from the Assembly, and banning him from hiring employees under the age of 21.
Perhaps now we have a better understanding of the specific stipulation to ban Lopez from hiring employees under the age of 21. According to multiple sources, Lopez was even witnessed leering at a 14-year-old female intern, commenting on her “sexy attire”, and saying she should be emulated by the other ladies in his office.
Here is an update testifying to the serious nature of the complaints that led to Lopez downfall.
Via the New York Daily News:
The worried mother of a Vito Lopez staffer was so alarmed by the pervy Brooklyn assemblyman’s sleazy comments about a 14-year-old intern that she called the cops, the Daily News has learned.
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.
Rivera also called the cops, who logged the call as a “sex harassment/child abuse” complaint.
“(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 press charges, but the incident led to Rivera filing a complaint with the Ethics Commission.
The question now is, what did Silver know about the underage intern, and when did he know it? Specifically punishing Lopez by preventing him from hiring younger employees (under 21) seems to acknowledge that the wandering-hands Assemblyman had a problem in this area. Could Silver have heard of the same accusations?
Despite the scandal, Lopez was re-elected to the Assembly this past November.