Bronx Councilmember Andy King, who had to take sensitivity training afterhe was found to have harassed a female staffer in 2017, is facing suspension and a hefty fine, following an investigation by the City Council’s Standards and Ethics committee that determined he harassed and bullied staffers in an attempt to quash a probe into his office, and used city funds to benefit himself and his wife.
“We do not take this duty lightly and this is a very serious matter,” said Councilman Steven Matteo, the head of the City Council’s Standards and Ethics Committee, in a committee hearing Tuesday, where members voted in favor of sanctions against Councilman King after their report substantiated four charges of retaliation, disorderly conduct, conflicts of interest, and harassment.
“Councilmember King allowed his office to become unsafe and disorderly by condoning the conduct of a supervisor who repeatedly physically threatened persons in the office,” Matteo said. “It is also clear that councilmember king facilitated numerous conflicts of interest in the office that benefit both himself and his wife.”
The committee’s report suggests a $15,000 fine; a 30-day suspension; removal from the six committees he sits on and the Juvenile Justice committee that he chairs; and a permanent monitor to watch his office.
A copy of the committee report was first obtained by Politico New York.
The report details King’s homophobic remarks, like a time where he compared a photo of a gay pride march to child pornography, and his use of taxpayer dollars to benefit his wife’s work at the labor union 1199 SEIU. He put City Council funds towards a retreat in the Virgin Islands that included the wedding of his wife’s daughter, Politico New York reported. The report also describes how staffers who participated in the earlier council probe into his conduct in 2017 were retaliated against, Matteo said, including a staffer who was forced out of King’s office.
The full council is expected to vote on the committee’s recommendations early next week.
Matteo said the council made repeated attempts to secure Councilman King’s cooperation during their investigation to no avail.
“Instead of cooperating, Councilmember King attempted to make a mockery of this committee and council's rules and policies,” Matteo added.
The office of King, who represents parts of Wakefield, Olinville, Edenwald, Eastchester, Williamsbridge, Baychester and Co-op City in the North Bronx, didn’t immediately return a request for comment.
“The allegations and evidence against Council Member King are serious and deeply troubling,” Council Speaker Corey Johnson said. “The Council will consider the committee’s recommendations carefully before voting on this important matter.”
Councilman Jimmy van Bramer went a step further and, on Twitter, called for King’s resignation or expulsion from the council.
A spokesperson for the council said they couldn’t recall a time where suspension had been recommended for a member.
Read the council’s full report here: