ALBANY, N.Y. - New York State Assemblymen Vito Lopez has avoided a rare scheduled expulsion proceeding that could have taken place had he not resigned Saturday.
Assemblymen John McDonald says he's glad Assemblymen Vito Lopez will not be returning to the Capitol. Lopez's resignation on Saturday is effective Monday morning.
"Sessions not long enough to begin with. To have these side shows going on. Not appropriate," said Assemblymen McDonald.
Reports last week accuse Lopez of sexually harassing young female staff members. Although no criminal charges followed, some say he violated Assembly rules and public trust.
"He violated public officers law and that's something that public officials should be and need to be taking very seriously," said McDonald.
Lopez originally vowed to stay until the legislative session ended in June, but McDonald says that would have made legislative work suffer.
"With his colleagues in the Assembly he's already lost. It would have been a very uneventful actually distracting session if it continued on with Vito Lopez," said McDonald.
Barbara Bartoletti with the New York State League of Women Voters says Lopez is an example of why the Women's Equality Act should be passed. She says it would uphold a zero tolerance policy for sexual harassment.
"Certainly there are too many women. Too many lurid details to not say that all of this was warranted and this man should never again be allowed to hold public office," said Bartoletti.
Bartoletti referred to the 71-year-old's alleged sexual harassment tactics as creepy and wrong.
"I think we will never again see him in Albany. Whether or not he runs for office in New York City unfortunately that depends on his constituents down there," said Bartoletti.
Assemblymen McDonald says session starts at 2 p.m. Monday and that there are no plans to mention Lopez's resignation.
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