Hey, you know how a female staffer's complaint about State Assemblyman Micah Kellner's alleged harassment went ignored by Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver's office? Well, it turns out that Silver's office is equal opportunity when it comes to not bothering with (allegedly) creepy bosses: It turns out a male staffer also complained about Kellner too!
According to the Daily News and NY Times, the state ethics commission is investigating complaints that were kept secret. As the Times puts it, "The records related to the Kellner allegations were not turned over to the state’s Joint Commission on Public Ethics, even though the commission issued a broad subpoena for documents related to sexual harassment allegations as part of an investigation into harassment claims made against a former assemblyman, Vito J. Lopez, that concluded earlier this year." Lopez allegedly groped female staffers and made them touch his tumors; Lopez wasn't charged with anything but resigned from the Assembly...so he could run for NY City Council, ugh.
Kellner's former chief of staffer Eliyanna Kaiser had brought allegations of Kellner's harassment toward an aide to Silver's office, only to be ignored. Now State of Politics reports
"According to people familiar with the situation, Kellner made repeated inappropriate sexual advances and comments to a male employee. According to one person who asked to remain anonymous:
'Micah would comment about his appearance and his sex life all the time. It was creepy. One time Micah leaned onto his shoulders and told him he had pretty hands-and he just froze. It escalated to the point where he actually got up the nerve to confront Micah. And after that, things did not get better. Micah took him off projects, diminished his role in the office, and when everyone else got a raise a few weeks later, his salary stayed the same. No one was surprised when he quit.'"
Kellner, a Manhattan Democrat, is married to a woman, but is openly bisexual. He told the News, "There should have been an investigation four years ago. There should be an investigation now, and I'm going to cooperate with any investigation."
Kellner is running for Jessica Lappin's City Council seat. Lappin had endorsed Kellner, but rescinded it after the initial allegations surfaced. His Democratic opponent, Ben Kallos, received the support of NOW-NYC.