New York Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver maintains that he believes that he’ll be cleared of any wrongdoing in the Vito Lopez sex debacle, during which the speaker signed off on more than $100,000 in taxpayer funded hush money to sweep allegations of sexual misconduct against Lopez under the rug.
He also claims that he “acted in the best interests” of the several victims of Lopez’s alleged pervy-ness — which, New York GOPers say, is laughable.
Further reading on the Silver/Lopez scandal:
Here’s what Silver told the Buffalo News on Tuesday:
“I am confident that, in the end result, JCOPE will find that we acted in the best interests of the victims in good faith pursuant to the law,” Silver told The Buffalo News in an interview at the Capitol on Tuesday.
New York State Republican Party Chairman Ed Cox, however, says that the pesky facts of the case don’t exactly support Silver’s claims that he “acted in the best interests” of the victims.
Here’s a statement issued by Cox yesterday:
“Speaker Silver, it is reported that the settlement agreement required that the VICTIMS pay a $10,000 fine if they publicly disclosed the settlement. If true, this fact alone shreds your defense.
“If you were concerned for the victims, why did you fail to report the assaults to the Assembly Ethics Committee, as your Assembly rules required, with the result that a serial sex abuser struck additional victims? And why have you failed to take responsibility for these victims?
“And why did the reported official misconduct of disguising payments to victims as for “legal services,” happen?
“Speaker Silver, your stated defense is in tatters, and there are unanswered questions which carry ethical and criminal liabilities.”
As we reported earlier this week, GOP Assemblyman Steve Katz sent a letter to his Assembly colleagues urging them to not vote for Silver for another term as speaker. But it probably won’t do any good — Shelly Silver’s still Shelly Silver.