2 women staffers sue Assembly speaker over scandal
ALBANY, N.Y. - Two female Assembly staffers who accused Assemblyman Vito Lopez of sexual harassment are suing him and Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver for his role in a secret settlement of previous claims.
The two women, 27-year-old Victoria Burhans and 25-year-old Chloe Rivera, say they were hired by Assemblyman Vito Lopez last year and were subjected to sexual harassment by the Brooklyn Democrat. According to the lawsuit, both women still work for the Assembly.
The two women filed the civil suit in U.S. District Court Thursday.
The suit details specific claims of harassment by Lopez and that Silver's staff made no attempt to investigate Lopez or protect the women on his staff. The testimony against Lopez includes the demand for hand massages, a request to sleep naked at the Governor's mansion, and a suggestion to sleep with a person in the governor's office in order to get legislation passed.
The suit also states that Silver had settled claims by two other women against Lopez in a secret deal using $103,000 in public money.
Burhans and Rivera claim "mental anguish, emotional distress and humiliation as a result of defendants discriminatory acts."
Neither complaint specifies the exact amount of damages sought by the two women.
Lopez has denied sexually harassing anyone. He has resigned his seat to run for New York City Council. He faces civil charges recommended by the state ethics board.
Silver has admitted mistakes, made an extraordinary apology and is proposing reforms.
Local News <a href="http://www.wten.com/category/173731/-local-news">More>></a>Local NewsMore>>
CHESTERTOWN, N.Y. – A Brant Lake teen is under arrest after police say he impersonated an officer. The Warren County Sheriff's Office arrested Tyler Eves, 18, for Criminal Impersonation. On April 12,More >>
A Brant Lake teen is under arrest after police say he impersonated an officer.More >>
SARATOGA COUNTY – The Saratoga County Sheriff has confirmed a single car accident in the area that left no survivors. He says the vehicle hit a tree, but will not confirm at this time how many peopleMore >>
A fatal single car accident in the area Burgoyne Road between Hayes Road and DeGarmo Road is under investigation. More >>
ALBANY, N.Y. – The Albany Police Department is currently investigating a shooting. Officers responded to a report of an assault around 11:30 p.m. Thursday in the area of Garden Street and Raymo Street.More >>
The Albany Police Department is currently investigating a shooting.More >>
ALBANY, N.Y. – Officials say Jesse Sawyer Jr. is scheduled to appear in federal court on Friday in Albany. Sawyer, 25, has been in police custody in Florida since the end of March. The Troy man is accusedMore >>
Jesse Sawyer Jr. appeared in federal court on Friday in Albany. More >>
HUDSON, N.Y.—State Police arrested a Youth Safe Center employee after an investigation that took place in March. Sheldon Ridley, 32, of Hudson had allegedly been sexually abusing a female resident at theMore >>
State Police arrested a Youth Safe Center employee after an investigation that took place in March.More >>
SCHENECTADY, N.Y.—The search for a missing woman with symptoms of dementia has come to an end after police confirm she has been located. Wilma Trotter, 60, was missing for over a week before she was located.More >>
The search for a missing woman with symptoms of dementia has come to an end after police confirm she has been found alive. More >>
ALBANY, N.Y.—Two Albany men were arrested on counterfeiting charges after a seven month long investigation. During a traffic stop on Wednesday, April 16, investigators were conducting surveillance on twoMore >>
Two Albany men were arrested on counterfeiting charges after a seven month long investigation.More >>
ALBANY, N.Y.—The Capital District Transportation Authority (CDTA) and Music Mobile have teamed up to further awareness of CDTA's bus safety program. Capital District Region kids created posters with theMore >>
The Capital District Transportation Authority (CDTA) and Music Mobile have teamed up to further awareness of CDTA's bus safety program.More >>
ALBANY, N.Y. -- Three men are in custody for possession of a handgun following an incident on Walter Street. On Wednesday April 16, at about 9:00 p.m., officers responded to the area of North Second StreetMore >>
Three men are in custody for possession of a handgun following an incident on Walter Street.More >>