Despite highly publicized accusations that he’s a dirty, dirty old man, Democratic Brooklyn Assemblyman Vito “Gropez” Lopez won re-election to the Assembly on Tuesday. But the longtime pol dropped a bombshell on his supporters: this might be his last term — in the Assembly, anyway.
“While I will continue to advocate fiercely for the residents of the 53rd Assembly District through this term with the commitment, dedication and devotion I always have, over the next few months, I will be evaluating my plans to seek re-election to the New York State Assembly,” Lopez said yesterday.
Lopez, as we mentioned, is a bit of a pervert. At least four former female Assembly staffers have accused him of various acts of sexual misconduct — two of those allegations were swept under the rug via-some taxpayer funded hush money approved by Lopez’s former pal Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver.
So why would a creep like Lopez — who has no problem getting re-elected even with such heavy baggage — leave his seat? Is he doing the honorable thing by removing himself the public eye? Probably not — he’s still Vito Lopez.
Further reading on Lopez’s pervy-ness:
The 71-year-old career politician is rumored to be considering a run at a City Council seat — according to the rumor mill, he’s thinking about running for the seat currently held by Diana Reyna, who’s term limited and must give up her seat at the end of 2013.
But why would a guy with ulterior political ambitions waste the time and money running for the seat he’s rumored to no longer want? The New York Post has a theory: legal bills.
From the Post:
A Democratic Party veteran who knows Lopez said there’s a compelling reason for him to remain in office with a successful City Hall run — legal bills.
Lopez’s alleged misconduct is under investigation by Staten Island DA Dan Donovan, acting as a special prosecutor.
“As long as [Lopez is] an elected official, he can use campaign funds to pay his lawyers,” said the source. “It becomes an iffy proposition if he’s not in office.”
“That’s not an off-the-wall theory,” agreed Larry Mandelker, one of the city’s top election lawyers.
Lopez, 71, has more than $1 million left in his campaign account. His Republican challenger, Richy Garcia, 26, reported spending no money in his half-hearted campaign.
Watch your asses, City Council staffers (literally — watch your asses) — there’s a chance Gropez is heading your way.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on November 8, 2012