Brooklyn Assemblyman Vito Lopez Stripped Of Leadership Positions For “Both Verbal And Physical Sexual Abuse”

Brooklyn Assemblyman (and Democratic kingpin) Vito Lopez has been censured after an ethics panel investigation found him guilty of “both verbal and physical sexual abuse,” The New York Post reports.

Though he is not yet being asked to leave his position, Lopez is being stripped of all legislative perks as well as his position as chairman of the Assembly’s Housing Committee. He has also been barred from employing interns younger than 21, had his general staff reduced, and will attend “supplemental sexual harassment training.” Even his political allies are denouncing Lopez’s actions.

According to a statement from Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, the committee found that “Lopez created a hostile workplace which included both verbal and sexual abuse and determined that his response was not credible.”

Naturally, his opponents are joining the fray as well, and State Committeeman Lincoln Restler, a longtime critic, has already issued a press release calling for Lopez’s immediate resignation.

“Given the severity of these allegations, which the New York Assembly has called ‘credible,’ Vito Lopez should immediately resign as Brooklyn Democratic Party Chairman. I hope all responsible elected officials in Brooklyn will join me in calling for this action. It is clear we need a full and comprehensive investigation into whether this was a regular pattern of behavior in Vito Lopez’s office,” wrote Restler.

According to the findings, Lopez is accused of incidents including groping a staffer’s inner thigh “as far up between her legs as you could go.”

So yeah, this seems like the correct punishment for this guy. Lopez himself has yet to release a statement, but we’ll post updates as they come.

Follow Virginia K. Smith on Twitter @vksmith.

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