Powerful Democratic Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver continues to catch heat for his coverup of sexual harassment allegations against his former pal, disgraced Assemblyman Vito Lopez, and now New York Republicans are circulating a petition calling for his resignation.
Granted, it’s only a petition — it will do literally nothing to procedurally remove Silver from office. And Shelly Silver’s still Shelly Silver — he’s one politician in New York who could probably weather the storm if caught with the proverbial dead woman or live boy. But, as toothless as the GOP’s petition may be, it sends a message that people are sick and tired of the speaker and his “old boys club” that is the New York State Assembly.
“Faced with a member of his caucus who had on multiple occasions sexually harassed female staff members, Speaker Silver neglected to
refer the matter to the Assembly Ethics Committee and instead took an active role in covering up the abuse, including paying over $100,000 of taxpayer money to the victim, who did not request confidentiality,” New York GOP Chairman Ed Cox said today.
In case you’re unfamiliar with Silver’s long history of covering up allegations of sexual misconduct for his buddies, we’ll run it down for
you one more time:
A while back, Lopez was accused of sexually harassing two women. Rather than referring the case to the Assembly Ethics Committee (or
police), Silver authorized a settlement that included $130,000 in taxpayer money to essentially sweep the allegations under the rug.
The story probably would have remained under the rug if Lopez wasn’t a dirty old man. But he is — just months after costing taxpayer more than $100,000, he was accused of sexually harassing two more women.
Adding to Silver’s dilemma is his handling of past allegations of sexual misconduct, including those against his former chief counsel J.
In 2001, a young female staffer accused Boxley of sexually assaulting her in his apartment. Rather than go to police, she opted to pursue the matter through the Assembly, which turned out to be a mistake.
The investigation into Boxley was soon closed, and he remained on Silver’s staff as if nothing ever happened.
Two years later, Boxley pleaded guilty to sexual misconduct — in a sweetheart deal that kept him out of jail — for an attack on a
different woman. Then, in 2006, Silver and the Assembly agreed to pay $500,000 to a Jane Doe because the speaker failed to properly
investigate the initial accusations and for “tolerating a culture of sexual harassment in the Assembly.”
In both Lopez’s and Boxley’s cases, it seems the second wave of attacks could have potentially been avoided if the two men didn’t think
they had Silver in their pockets to sweep the matters under the rug.
So, if you think it’s time for Silver to go, click here and sign the GOP’s toothless petition (and then watch as Silver gets re-elected to yet another term as speaker because, again, he’s Shelly Silver).