Only in the seriously twisted world of Albany can a lawmaker who sexually harassed his staffers not face criminal charges—and then resign claiming he's focusing on his New York City Council race. Brooklyn Assemblyman and Democratic kingmaker Vito Lopez just announced he's leaving the Assembly, half a day after Speaker Sheldon Silver said he'd start working on Lopez's expulsion.
Lopez said, "I have made no secret that I intend to run for New York City Council in November, which requires me to resign my current term... Nevertheless, because the citizens of my district voted me back into office last November by an overwhelming majority, I feel obligated to serve out this session of the Assembly. I therefore announce that as of June 20, 2013, the last day of the session, I resign my position."
Governor Cuomo just Tweeted, "Vito Lopez should not spend another day in office, let alone a whole month. He should resign effective immediately & if not, be expelled," and, "There should be a zero tolerance policy when it comes to sexual harassment & must send a clear message that this behavior is not tolerated."
But remember: Even though numerous women claim he made them touch his tumors or buy low-cut blouses and described various incidents of him groping their inner thighs (and more), Lopez insists he's innocent and that the women were actually coming on to him. His lawyer said, "The notion that this 71 year old ailing man"—Lopez has cancer—"could alarm a 26 year old with his ability to overpower her is not believable. Anyone who has seen Mr. Lopez knows he looks frail."