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:
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
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.
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.
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.
men, however, have vowed to remain in the Assembly — even as the
state’s ethics panel investigates the allegations and the coverup.