The City Council overwhelmingly voted to expel Bronx member Andy King, in a 48-2 vote on Monday. The vote came after investigations into King's behavior that were initiated in response to allegations that he made inappropriate comments to staffers and misappropriated Council funds.
Only King and fellow Bronx City Councilmember Ruben Diaz Sr. voted against the expulsion. The last time the Council voted to expel a member was 1949, with the removal of Benjamin Davis, a Communist who was charged with attempting to overthrow the United States government. The Post adds, "King now holds the ignominious distinction of being the first city politician booted from the lawmaking body in modern history without first being convicted of a crime."
King was accused of violating anti-discrimination and harassment policies. Councilmember Steven Matteo, of Staten Island, said last week, "In response to the female staffer’s informing Councilmember King that she needed to seek emergency medical treatment from menstrual bleeding, Council member King treated her condition as a joke and made the discriminatory comment to ‘put a band-aid on it.' He forced the staffer to take unnecessary, unwanted, indefinite, and unpaid medical leave, which he described as ‘putting her out,’ blaming her because she allegedly talked to others about her medical condition."
In another instance, King allegedly paid a female staffer unwanted attention, including only letting go of her hand until she smiled, asking for her phone number, inviting her to a fund-raiser, and requesting that she wear a gown. King denied these accusations.
King objected to the expulsion vote, saying on Thursday that he was the victim and insisting that he never made those remarks to the staffer. However, the City Council found the witnesses credible. A Council committee also found that King asked for a $2,000 kickback from a staffer, thereby violating the conflict of interests law, and that he ignored a $15,000 penalty stemming from his 2019 harassment and conflicts of interest investigation.
Ahead of the vote, King made remarks defending himself and repeating his claims that he has been discriminated against:
Councilmember Jimmy Van Bramer voiced his regret that King wasn't expelled earlier, pointing out the early investigations.
King's name no long appears on his District website. Mayor Bill de Blasio can announce a special election three days after the seat is vacated, in accordance to the City Charter; the special election would occur between December 18th and January 8th, 2021. Staffers at the D-12 Council office will remain to handle constituent services.
Update: As he alluded to last week, King has moved forward in suing the Council: