The City Council’s Ethics Committee has begun an investigation into allegations that council member Ydanis Rodriguez inappropriately touched a female staffer after chewing her out for not keeping him up to date about CUNY funding. As the chair of the Higher Education Committee, he said he wasn't informed about $470,000 in cuts from CUNY’s Dominican and Puerto Rican Studies program. When asked by the Manhattan Times if he laid hands on the staffer he said, "Never in my life as a teacher...not as a human being."
According to The Daily Politics, the incident took place last Friday night after the Mayor and the City Council reached a deal on the city's budget. The argument allegedly led to Rodriguez aggressively "touching" the staffer, though it's unclear whether it was in a violent or sexual manner. The Ethics Committee has appointed three members to investigate the allegations. Rodriguez said, "The only thing that happened last week were many conversations about funding for my community. I asked many questions and I got many answers. There were no arguments."