Latest Silver Harassment Cover-up Needs to be the Last One

PRESS RELEASE FROM ASSEMBLYMAN KIERAN LALOR

In light of the latest Speaker Sheldon Silver sexual harassment cover-up, Assemblyman Kieran Michael Lalor (R,C,I – Fishkill) is renewing his call for Assembly Democrats to remove Silver from his leadership position.

“Assembly Democrats should have removed Silver long ago, but this latest revelation has to be the final straw,” said Lalor. “Silver’s office is claiming that Silver was never told about the allegations. But, nothing happens in the Assembly without Silver knowing. A staffer took a bullet for Silver and resigned yesterday, but that’s just a cover-up of the cover-up. How can Democrats allow Silver to continue as speaker? Do they have any shame?”

The New York Times reported yesterday that one of Silver’s top staff lawyers, Bill Collins, failed to take the proper steps after learning that Democratic Assemblyman Micah Kellner was sexually harassing staffers. Silver claims Collins never informed him of the allegations. However, Silver’s iron grip on the Assembly makes that unlikely. It looks like Silver once again buried sexual harassment charges to cover for a colleague.

Lalor contined, “Silver has created an environment where sexual harassment and even sexual assault is tolerated. From Michael Boxley to Vito Lopez and now Micah Kellner, Silver has repeatedly shielded perpetrators. Each time he turns a blind eye to the defenseless and powerless women staffers. Assembly Democrats and Governor Cuomo need to stop putting party politics and friendships ahead of right and wrong. We’ve had enough, it’s time to boot Silver.”

“Even if Silver’s flimsy excuse is true, he bears ultimate responsibility for creating a work environment where sexual harassment charges were tossed aside. The buck stops with Speaker Silver. If Silver is telling the truth, it just means that his employees saw his prior cover-ups and thought another cover-up wouldn’t be a problem for the Speaker. Silver has no excuses left. Assembly Democrats need to step up, clean house, and remove Silver,” Lalor finished.