FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 4, 2013
Contact Joseph Ahearn, (914) 774-6856, Katz4NY@gmail.com
KATZ HIGHLIGHTS ETHICS QUESTIONS OVER
Assemblyman Steve Katz (R,C,I-Yorktown) again called for an independent Moreland Act investigation into Speaker Sheldon Silver for his role in the Vito Lopez sexual harassment scandal. Katz’ renewed call comes in light of the questionable relationship between the Speaker and Assemblyman Charles Lavine (D-LI), co-chair of the Legislative Ethics Committee. The Legislative Ethics Committee is investigating Silver and, to date, has found no wrong-doing, spurring questions about the effectiveness of the investigation.
Additional doubts about the ethics review process were raised when an invitation appeared online showing that Assemblyman Charles Lavine (D-LI) is hosting a fundraiser with “honored guest” Speaker Silver. It is also worth noting that Sheldon Silver appointed Assemblyman Lavine to the position on the Legislative Ethics Committee.
“Sheldon Silver appointed Charles Lavine to the Legislative Ethics Committee. The Committee, of which Lavine is co-chair, is responsible for investigating Sheldon Silver for his involvement in the Vito Lopez sexual harassment scandal. Charles Lavine has a fundraiser where Sheldon Silver is an ‘honored guest.’ Does anyone really think this passes as ethical?” Katz questioned this morning.
“This should not pass anyone’s smell test. Does Speaker Silver have any shame? How can any New Yorker look at their government and have any faith when the man responsible for investigating the Vito Lopez sexual harassment cover up has the Speaker as an ‘honored guest’ at his fundraiser? Lavine is obviously biased,” Katz said. “New Yorkers deserve better from their government. The Assembly, as the people’s house, has to be held to a higher standard. Lavine and Silver should be ashamed of themselves, and an independent investigation should take place to see if there really was any foul play.”
Katz continued, “If our ethics co-chair cannot see that this is an extreme conflict of interest or that he should have recused himself from the investigation, then his moral compass is flawed. Assemblyman Lavine must step down from his position immediately, because, clearly he is not fit for the position he holds.”
For more information about Katz, please contact his district office at 845-628-3781. The assemblyman can also be reached via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.