It wasn’t too long ago that one journalist referred to the Capitol of New York as “the most sexually abusive workplace in the nation.”
Now, three former aides to Assemblyman Dennis Gabryszak have accused him of subjecting them to a “hostile and offensive work environment” that included frequent sexual harassment and ultimately led to the female staffers quitting their job. According to the complaint, two other aides plan to come forward with similar allegations.
Via the Times Union:
Gabryszak, 60, now faces complaints from three former aides — two from western New York and one from Clifton Park — who worked at his legislative offices, including in the Capitol.
According to their complaints, the married father of two adult children carried on in front of these women in ways that unnerved them and caused them to complain to top legislative aides in the office, who allegedly did nothing.
The three women expect Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver to do something. In a notice of claim, they name Gabryszak, the Assembly and the state as respondents in a Court of Claims case. The notice preserves their right to sue within a year.
Contacted by phone Thursday afternoon, the six-year Assembly veteran said he would not discuss the matter at this time. Gabryszak said he had not seen the filing, and still had no comment when a reporter described its contents. He said he did not have a problem with the women involved.
Adam Locher, his chief of staff, also had no comment. Locher was cited by the complainants as ignoring the harassment when the women went to him.
The notice can be found here.
Allegations include taking a female staffer who had been on the job only two weeks to a massage parlor and taking her to dinner where Gabryszak professed to being more of a “butt” guy than a “boobs” guy. Another employee was allegedly offered a $100,000/yr position if she moved to western New York to get away from her fiance. And a third employee stated that the Assemblyman told her “she aroused him sexually” and once referred to Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis as “Malliocockkiss.”
Assemblyman Steve McLaughlin responded to the allegations on Facebook:
Right on cue, Silver denies any knowledge of it….now where have we heard that before? Oh yeah…during the Vito Lopez and Micah Kellner episodes. He maintained that position right up until it was proven that he lied and paid the victims off with tax payer money. Only then did he admit his “mistake” and promise not to do it again. Well….’again’ just arrived apparently with another lawsuit.
This guy is the Sgt. Schulz of Albany: “I know nothing… NOTHING.” I’m sure the Assembly Democrats will be voicing their full support for his leadership shortly, lest they fall out of favor with him and risk cutting off their money supply.
Earlier this year, it was reveled that Asm. Michah Kellner (D-Manhattan) was harassing a female staff member, and Asm. Vito Lopez (D-Brooklyn) was forced out of the Assembly after it was revealed that his years-long pattern of sexually harassing female staff members was covered up by Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver.
GOP Chair Ed Cox released this statement, saying that the latest allegations fall squarely on the shoulders of Governor Cuomo for not appointing a special counsel to investigate Silver.
“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.
“The pattern of abuse facilitated by Sheldon Silver is a dark stain on our State. And when Andrew Cuomo was given the opportunity to appoint a Special Prosecutor to investigate Silver and root our corruption in Albany, he opted instead for a political Moreland Commission to promote his political goal of taxpayer-funded campaigns.
“Today’s reports prove that the Democrats’ culture of corruption is alive and well in Albany. And Andrew Cuomo hasn’t acted to stop it.”
With Silver unwilling to resign and Cuomo unwilling to pressure him, the last option to oust the Assembly Leader rests with Democrats in the Majority Conference. Assemblyman, Bill Nojay explains that, “Under rules of the State Assembly, only his fellow Democrats in the Majority Conference, who elected him in January, can now remove him from office.”
Assemblyman Steve McLaughlin says that these are the ones “who are hostile to women’s rights.”
The message they are sending is clear,” he said. “As long as their progressive agenda marches on, any women that get hurt along the way are expendable.”