The taxpayer-funded tab to sweep allegations of sexual harassment by disgraced Brooklyn Assemblyman Vito Lopez under the rug is even bigger than originally anticipated, according to records released yesterday.
In addition to the $103,000 Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver — et al — agreed to pay Lopez’s accusers, an additional $2,400 in taxpayer coin was shelled out to pay for mediation sessions among Lopez, the alleged victims, and the Assembly.
Lopez and his accusers also dished out $2,400 each to California-based mediation specialists JAMS Inc. when the parties couldn’t agree on an appropriate settlement to keep the allegations hush-hush.
Further reading on Lopez’s pervy-ness:
Ladies, Assemblyman Vito Lopez Would Prefer You Not Wear A Bra To Work
Lopez’s pervy-ness includes — but is not exclusive to — his allegedly groping several young female staffers, putting his hands up one of their skirts, and requesting that several of his employees not wear bras to work.
Initial allegations were settled earlier this year for more than $130,000 — the majority of which was paid for by taxpayers in a settlement deal approved by Lopez’s pal Silver.
Those initial allegations probably would have remained under the rug, but Lopez couldn’t keep his hands to himself — even after costing his constituents more than $100,000, he allegedly groped two more women just weeks after the settlement for the initial claims was approved.
The allegations — and how they were handled by legislative leaders — have led to widespread criticism of Lopez and Silver, with some members of the powerful Dems’ own party calling for their resignations.
Both men, however, have vowed to remain in the Assembly — even as the state’s ethics panel investigates the allegations and the coverup.