5:33 pm Aug. 29, 2012
Nearly all the 2013 Democratic mayoral candidates came out earlier this week to call on Vito Lopez to resign his elected and party positions in the wake of sexual harassment allegations against him.
Since that time, it was revealed that Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver authorized a $103,080 payment to settle an earlier case of sexual harassment against Lopez, prompting calls from Governor Andrew Cuomo and others for an ethics investigation into why the payment was made and why the earlier accusations were never investigated.
I emailed each of the 2013 mayoral candidates to get their take on Silver’s handling of the matter.
Former city comptroller and 2009 Democratic mayoral nominee Bill Thompson said, “transparency must become an integral part of any review of sexual harassment allegations.”
Thompson, who did not mention Silver directly in his statement, went on to say, “The public needs to know that elected officials are complying with the laws they have enacted on sexual harassment and taxpayers deserve assurances that their dollars are not being wasted.”
Local publisher Tom Allon said, “Shelly Silver made a mistake and he has admitted that. For that he should be commended.”
Allon went on to say, “Wasting time on ethics investigations and financial settlements detracts from doing public service.”
Spokespeople for City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, City Comptroller John Liu, Public Advocate Bill de Blasio and Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
UPDATE: Quinn's spokesman emails a statement: "Speaker Silver has admitted that he should have handled the situation differently and has made appropriate reforms going forward. I agree that jcope is the correct venue to review this matter."