ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - Gov. Andrew Cuomo is threatening to create a powerful investigative body to look into sexual harassment claims in the Legislature if the state ethics board fails to probe a secret Assembly settlement.
The Joint Commission on Public Ethics has refused to say if it will investigate a $103,000 settlement approved by Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver in June to resolve claims against Democratic Assemblyman Vito Lopez.
The commission met for more than two hours behind closed doors Tuesday, but wouldn't comment on whether it would investigate Lopez, Silver's deal, or neither.
Just before Cuomo's statement Friday, a judge empowered a special prosecutor to investigate claims against Lopez and the settlement.
Silver says he welcomes a thorough commission investigation.
Under commission rules, legislative appointees can in effect veto a probe.
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