Even though he's totally gross for pawing female staffers, allegedly leering at a 14-year-old intern and generally creating a terrifying workplace for women, Brooklyn Assemblyman Vito Lopez has avoided criminal charges despite numerous allegations of sexual harassment. Since Lopez, still a powerful Democrat, is running for New York City Council, let's just force ourselves to examine the insane depravity that staffers detailed to investigators—depravity that somehow ISN'T harassing enough to qualify as illegal.

  • "One woman was made to feel the tumors on his neck, shoulder and armpit as Lopez, who has cancer, told her he was dying and “needed” her." (Daily News)
  • "Mr. Lopez also demanded that several women write effusive and flirtatious text messages, in one case even writing a sample note for them to follow: 'Vito, I wanted to be nice to you. Hope you like way I look,' he wrote. He then sometimes used such letters to forestall complaints made against him." (NY Times)
  • After pressuring an employee to go to a bar, "instead of talking about legislation, however, Lopez only spoke to Employee 3 about 'completely personal matters,' such as her relationship with her boyfriend and her father. At the end of the evening, Lopez gave Employee 3 $50 in cash and told her to purchase a low-cut blouse to wear…. [The next day] Employee 3 gave the money back to Lopez, telling him that she was "uncomfortable" with his offer. Lopez calmly took the money. Later that evening, they attended the Brooklyn Unidos Christmas party, and Emplooyee 3 said that Lopez threw the $50 in her face, while yelling she should never "disrespect him" again and that when he gives her something, she should take it." (JCOPE report)
  • "During the car ride home, a staffer said that Mr. Lopez once again put his hand between her legs on her inner thigh. She squeezed her legs together in an effort to prevent him from touching her and was scratched by one of Mr. Lopez’s jagged fingernails." (Politicker)
  • "One of the staffers even recorded Lopez proposing that she move in with him in an Albany apartment so they could be together in 'an adventurous way.'" (NY Post)
  • "A staffer once said she thought Mr. Lopez was too drunk to drive, but he insisted on doing so anyway. On the drive home, Mr. Lopez again requested a massage for his right hand. She said she complied because she was worried that Lopez might fall asleep while driving and she thought the massage would keep him awake. He used this opportunity to repeatedly force his right hand between her legs, at one point touching her underwear." (Politicker)
  • "At a Long Island restaurant, Mr. Lopez told the same staffer who had massaged his hand to do it again. This time, Mr. Lopez placed his hands on the staffer’s legs which she kept tightly crossed. Mr. Lopez pried her legs open and forced his hand between her legs and high up her inner thigh-in the words of the staffer: 'all the way up.'" (Politicker)

And then there's the pinkeye—here's an excerpt from the New York State Joint Commission on Public Ethics report:

2013_05_stafferpinkeye.jpg

You can read the whole report from JCOPE. Don't worry: Albany has paid some of the staffers $100,000 of TAXPAYER money to make the whole thing go away. Lopez has denied the claims, issuing a statement saying, "Salacious and sensational claims in the JCOPE report are fallacious. Should there ever come a time when Mr. Lopez is actually afforded the fundamental rights supposedly allowed everyone, the truth will finally be told... There is an all-out war against an ailing senior member."