Thursday, August 30, 2012

AlbanyGate Cover Up Runs Through Silver. Schneiderman. DiNapoli

Daily News Calls It A Sexual Harrassment Cover Up
Coverup must end in Vito Lopez sexual harassment cases (NYDN Ed) Speaker Sheldon Silver and others in Albany need to release all relevant info

The News demands Silver release all public information relating to Lopez’s sexual harassment settlement and any similar deals:The Vito Lopez scandal is getting, well, grosser by the minute. The Times spoke to five women who say they were harassed by Lopez while working for him. Among their allegations: He asked some women not to wear bras, referred to others as “well-endowed” and urged another to break up with her boyfriend. Lopez has denied the allegations.

Albany Pigs Go Way Beyond Member Item Pork
Disgraced pol Vito Lopez's fmr. chief-of-staff ID'd as sex-harass settler(NYP) Leah Hebert, 29, worked for more than a year in Lopez’s Brooklyn office until she was terminated June 7 — the same day that an invoice for that settlement was submitted to the Assembly, records show. One of the alleged victims who received a share of the settlement is Lopez’s former chief of staff who worked in his Brooklyn office for more than a year and whose salary was slashed for unknown reasons in January *Women who worked for Vito Lopez are talkingCapital New York * One Vito Lopez aide left and went to work against him | Capital New York *E-mails: Vito Lopez sex harass accusers sought $1.2M(NYP)

For Aide Claims Lopez Was Sexually Hostile

“Vito doesn’t hire ugly girls,” Ms. Friot said

Women Employed by Lawmaker Describe Sexually Hostile Office(NYT) Lopez told some women not to wear bras to work. He requested they wear short skirts and high heels. He gave them cash to buy jewelry and complimented them on their figures, giving special attention to those he called “well endowed.” Five women who worked for Lopez said he made frequent sexual advances, requested they dress provocatively, and asked invasive personal questions in his office, and they feared reprisals if they complained * AP: Vito Lopez sex harassment accusers sought $1.2M (NewsDay) The records also show that Silver, accused by some of a cover-up to protect Lopez, had extensive help from outside the chamber in crafting the legal settlement that had been cloaked in a confidentiality agreement until Thursday. The records show Silver's counsel worked through three drafts of the settlement with staff from the Attorney General's Office and state Comptroller's Office.
The documents appear to show a larger role in the Assembly sex harassment settlement by the Attorney General's and Comptroller's offices than those offices previously stated. Spokesmen for Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli have said lower-level workers had little say in the settlement and no power to question or stop it.

 Everyday Was No Bra Day At Lopez's Office
Ms. Friot, 28, said that Mr. Lopez never directly harassed her but that “there was a certain culture where behaviors like that were permissible.” Another woman described “an atmosphere of intimidation,” an environment where she and other former staff members said Mr. Lopez veered between crude jokes and fierce tirades.* 2 Women Received $32,000 From Assemblyman, Beyond Money From State

 Vito's Sock Puppet Seddio "What Harassment" " Changing of the Guard of What?
Lopez protégé Frank Seddio — the favorite to replace Lopez as Brooklyn Democratic leader — yesterday expressed doubt that the alleged harassment occurred, despite the settlement payout and the Assembly committee’s censure vote. Frontrunner to take over Brooklyn Democratic Party Frank(NYDN) * Frank Seddio pitched himself as a changing of the guard. * “It’s kind of like running a marathon, where I’m coming in number one and she’s number 6,367,” he said of one of his rivals, Jo Anne Simon. * One pro-Seddio district leader was not amused by the Draft Karim Camara movement. * An anonymous Lopez foe connected Steve Levin to the issue.* No Consensus for Camara; Seddio Seems Set to Replace Vito Lopez (NYO) * Frank Seddio hired George Arzt to handle his communications effort. It’s an interesting contrast with Vito Lopez, who genuinely did not believe in the press.

Even the local TV News is covering 
Will Vito take Silver down with him?(WCBS) Female Employees of State Assemblyman Describe Harassment (NBC)  The women's description of a hostile and sexualized workplace comes amid outrage over a secret $103,000 tax-payer funded settlement

Maloney Focusing On Silvers Reforms Not On What Happen
Silver the Bully? Where is the Woman Legislators Outrage Over the Sexual Harassment Payoffs
Feminist 'trailblazer' Maloney backs Silver's coverup(NYDN)'Feminist trailblazer' Carolyn Maloney praises Sheldon Silver for acting 'decisively' to punish Vito Lopez, but makes no mention of $103G payout to make sexual harassment case against Brooklyn Democrat go away Maloney’s endorsement of Silver stands in contrast to her record as an advocate for women’s issues * Carolyn Maloney Praises Sheldon Silver?(Artist) * NY Pols Walk Fine Line In Criticizing Shelly Silver Over Vito Lopez Scandal(NYDN)

Silver's Damage Control BS
Silver the Payments Where "Both Legal and Ethical"  . . .  Legal? For sure. The Legislature writes all the rules — especially those that protect legislators
Silver's office said any decision not to refer accusations against Lopez to the Assembly’s Ethics Committee would have been made at the victims’ request — and their lawyer adamantly, and damningly, denies they did. And Silver continues to insist — as he did again yesterday — that the payment, and his decision not to refer the accusation against Lopez to the Ethics Committee, were “both legal and ethical.” . . .  ‘I welcome a JCOPE investigation,” said Shelly Silver to the world yesterday. Sure he does — just like a cobra welcomes a mongoose -NYP * Silver fights fallout from secret deal: * Silver Faces Possible Ethics Inquiry(WSJ) * Assembly Speaker Under Fire For Lopez Actions(NY1) * Speaker Silver Accused of "Cover Up"(NYDN) * Would a JCOPE Investigation Into Vito Lopez Settlement Matter?(Bragg)* Republican Assemblyman Steve Katz is calling for Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver to resign and compared him to disgraced former Penn State football coach Joe Paterno.

DiNapoli's "Legal Services" Bag Money
The Bear Mountain Pack Is Dead . .  What Happens In Albany No Longer Stays in Albany
Meanwhile, a spokesman for Attorney General Eric Schneiderman clarified the role the state’s top lawyer played in the six-figure settlement.  The spokesman said the office “received unsolicited drafts of a settlement agreement, made one recommendation clarifying that the Assembly was the employer, and provided a model prelitigation settlement agreement, which included neither a confidentiality agreement nor any monetary terms.” . . . Indeed, both Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and state Comptroller Tom DiNapoli have had to answer questions over their own roles in the burgeoning mess regarding the hush money secretly paid to Assemblyman Vito Lopez’s first sexual-harassment victim. * DiNapoli’s Office Distances Itself From Lopez Scandal(YNN)* According to emails, DiNapoli's general counsel, Nancy Groenwegen, also received copies of the draft Lopez agreements.

Meanwhile, DiNapoli’s office approved the request for payment from Silver’s office and cut the check — ostensibly for “legal services” — without exhibiting even the slightest curiosity about what it was for. Both Schneiderman and DiNapoli, it should be recalled, come from the Legislature. The latter, in fact, was hand-picked by Silver for his current job — which speaks volumes about the incestuous nature of Albany politics.

Will the Investigates Limit Their Scope?
Silvers Reps on JCOPE would have to vote for an investigation of Silver before an investigations starts
Which is why Cuomo set up JCOPE in the first place. He has clear operational control of the body — which, The Post reports, plans an investigation that will “focus on the process” by which the money was paid.  That’s not nearly enough, of course.  But such a probe would crack open Albany’s notoriously closed doors.  Silver. Schneiderman. DiNapoli. What did they know, when did they know it and what did they do about it?  * Two groups filed a formal complaint on Wednesday asking for the state ethics commission to investigate Speaker Shelly Silver’s handling of sexual harassment complaints against Lopez, the Wall Street Journal reports: * JCOPE called a “special meeting” on Sept. 4. No additional details were available, but speculation is this will mark the start of the investigation into the Assemblyman Vito Lopez sexual harassment scandal.

Albany Pigs Go Way Beyond Member Items Pork
Common Cause and National Organization of Women-New York City filed a complaint on Wednesday urging the state Joint Commission on Public Ethics to investigate embattled Assemblyman Vito Lopez’s past conduct and look into whether his current and former staff had any knowledge of harassment. That includes Councilman Steve Levin, who served as Lopez’s chief of staff from 2006 to 2009. Good government groups want to find out what Levin knew and when he knew it, though Levin told the Post that no instances of sexual harassment occurred when he worked as Lopez’s staffer. (City and State) * Former Vito Lopez Staffers Describe Hostile Work Environment(WNYC) * Ladies, Assemblyman Vito Lopez Would Prefer You Not Wear A Bra To Work(Village Voice)

Campaign 2012   Assembly candidate says Bayside civic group poll is race-baiting   Nily Rozic says Bayside group, which strongly supports her opponent Jerry Iannece, is focused on her ethnicity * New district lines help spark a spirited Democratic primary in the 38th Assembly District (NYDN) Assemblyman Mike Miller faces challenge from Etienne David Adorno, who is focused on untapped Latino and young voters* Murphy Campaign On Why Romney ‘Dumped’ Grimm(YNN) * Op-Ed: Greco has no attachments to big businesses (Town and Village) * IDs candidates who failed to file required financial paperwork: * Restler Rallies Around Being ‘Vito’s Last Stand’(NYO) * Ackerman Does Not Support Toby Stavisky (Queens Politics) * David Storobin asked Simcha Felder to join him in fighting for a Jewish circumcision ritual.* The Queens Chronicle made the “easy” endorsement of James Sanders. * The Queens Tribune did the same, along with the not-necessarily-surprising endorsement of John Messer. * The NYC Board of Elections released a turnout map for June’s congressional primaries.* The Tischler brothers, profiled.

For the Daily News Albany is the Pork of All Evil
Daily News Called on also called for a ban on all earmarks in light of Shirley Huntley’s arrest.* The probe into Huntley has widened to every earmark she’s ever given.The pattern of a legislator abusing pork privileges is all too familiar. Former Bronx Sen. Pedro Espada got caught doing it, as did former Queens Assemblyman Brian McLaughlin, and former Senate Majority Leader Joe Bruno, and former City Councilman Larry Seabrook. Like Huntley, many have wound up in the criminal dock.

JCOPE named names as to which candidates haven’t properly filed disclosure reports.

Education the Civil Rights Issue of Our Day

Is Education the Civil Rights Issue of Our Day?   *
there’s been no reasonable advance made in the process designed to begin weeding out inferior teachers in city schools.  Still unsatisfactory(NYP Ed)

Plan to remove trash bins in NYC subways expands(WSJ)





  New Success Charter Academy school opens in Cobble Hill(NYDN)


Barclays Center will be mecca for basketbooze (NYDN) * Some Neighbors of the Nets Worry About Drinking Hours That Last Longer Than the Game Frontrunner to take over Brooklyn Democratic Party Frank(NYDN)
 Judge Criticizes M.T.A.’s Delay in Ad Case(NYT)

Ray guides ‘frisk’ cops(NYP)

Co-op City power outage affects tens of thousands of residents (NYP) On the West Side, Marking the Path of a 'Conga Line' of Rats(NYT)

Proposed Gas Pipeline, Endorsed by the City, Draws Criticism*NYT)

NYC in worse financial trouble?

From the NY Post:

New Yorkers are hurtling toward a very steep fall off the fiscal cliff. Depression-level job losses and record taxes on personal income are on the horizon, according to a bruising new economic report.




'Soda Ban' Changes Won't Be Revealed Until Vote(WSJ) The Bloomberg administration will not reveal any potential changes to its controversial proposal to limit the sale of large sugary drinks until the day of the Board of Health’s vote next month


The Making of A President 2012
Ryan Faults ‘Missing’ Leadership(NYT) *Defeat, Introspection, Reinvention, Nomination(NYT) ""I thought it was a very honest speech" - on 's Convention Speech  * Renovating Mitt Romney(NYT)  * Condi's World (NYT) Condoleezza Rice has the chastening experience to present a more sophisticated and more temperate Republican take on the world. * In convention speech, Ryan carves up Obama * David Koch: The billion-dollar delegate:(Politico) * Ryan Pledges GOP Rebirth(WSJ) * Condoleezza Rice Hits Obama Policies(WSJ) * Noonan's Blog: Huckabee Hits a Homer(WSJ) *
That anti-StudentsFirstNY group is on “a shoe-string budget but has demonstrated a knack for scaring up publicity.” * Maggie Haberman said Ryan gave the best speech yet. * In his speech, Mike Huckabee said he doesn’t care which church Mitt Romney belongs to.* Two Keynotes: Why Obama Succeeded and Christie Failed(New Yorker) * Romney himself will embrace his faith tonight. * Michael Barbaro took a deep look at Romney’s transition from 2008 to 2012.*Condoleezza Rice Brings RNC Crowd To Its Feet Multiple Times With Stirring Foreign Policy Speech * New York’s delegates had rave reviews for Ryan’s speech.* Ryan Delivers Scathing Critique of Obama's Policies - Jan Crawford, CBS
Will Mitt Romney Be Bold or Boulder? - Maureen Dowd, New York Times * Romney Pins Hopes on Contrast w/Obama - Michael Barone, DC Examiner * The Obama Record: Borrowed, Spent & Wasted - Rep. Paul Ryan * A Very Strange Argument for Mitt Romney - Ezra Klein, Washington Post * Speakers Highlight GOP's Growing Diversity - Frates & Kraushaar, NJ * GOP Ready to Rumble on Health Care - Jonathan Tobin, Commentary * Paul Ryan's Web of Lies - Michael Tomasky, The Daily Beast * Voters, Are You Bluffing? - George Will, Washington Post * Unseen Class War Could Decide the Election - Joel Kotkin, New Geography * Top 5 Fibs in Ryan Convention Speech - Brian Beutler, Talking Points Memo * A Fireside Chat With a Nation in Crisis - Joel Pollak, Big Government * Romney Pledges a Fed That Screws Workers - Dean Baker, Huffington Post * Ryan and Christie Set Up Clash of Ideas - Detroit News * Mitt Romney Must Fill in the Blanks - Tampa Bay Times * Court Blocks Texas Voter ID Law, Citing Racial Impact(NYT) * Defeat, Introspection, Reinvention, Nomination(NYT) * Michael Moore: Start Practicing The Words ‘President Romney’ * The Obama campaign mocked Ryan’s factual missteps.* What Mitt Romney needs to do tonight with his speech. * Paul Ryan’s speech yesterday can’t compare to Sarah Palin’s in terms of viewership numbers. * Jon Voight Does Not Feel Overshadowed by Clint Eastwood(NY Mag)

  Anti-Obama documentary '2016: Obama's America' setting recordsAnti-Obama documentary '2016: Obama's America' setting records(NYP)

Husband and wife sergeants promoted to lieutenant in same ceremonyHusband and wife sergeants promoted to lieutenant in same ceremony(NYP)

Woman Dies in Brooklyn Shooting: A 29-year-old woman was killed and a 13-year-old boy was injured in a shooting...
* Woman Dies in Brooklyn Shooting

Bx. vendor wounded in shooting near Yankee Stadium has died: policeBx. vendor wounded in shooting near Yankee Stadium has died: police(NYP)

Empire State Building murder victim Steven Ercolino mourned at funeralEmpire State Building murder victim Steven Ercolino mourned at funeral(NYP) * Man Killed Near Empire State Building Is Eulogized by His Sister(NYT) * Mourning the Victim of Shooting Near Empire State Building (WSJ) * Mourners Bid Tearful Goodbye To Man Shot Near Empire State Building(NY1)
* Family and friends say goodbye to Empire State Building(NYDN)

Levi Aron sentenced to 40 years to life for murder of Orthodox Jewish boy Leiby KletzkyLevi Aron sentenced to 40 years to life for murder of Orthodox Jewish boy Leiby Kletzky (NYP) * Man Who Killed and Dismembered a Lost Boy, 8, Gets 40 Years to Life(NYT) * Child's Killer Is Sentenced(WSJ) * Brooklyn Man Sentenced to 40 Years in Boy's Killing (WSJ) * Brooklyn Boy's Confessed Killer Gets Max Plea Deal Sentence(NY1)

Charges Filed in Bronx Street Vendor Killing(NYT) * Man, 74, Opens Fire at Staten Island Bowling Alley(NYT) * Man charged with firing shots in NYC bowling alley(WSJ) * NY home health aide arrested(WSJ) * DA Declines To Charge Mom After Toddler Found Wandering In Manhattan Street(NY1) * Police: Teen Punched MTA Bus Driver In Face, Fled(NY1) * Bullets fly at Staten Island bowling center -- but fate(SI Advance) * Governor Cuomo will soon announce his plans on child pornography and electronic cigarette bills that passed the Legislature earlier this year.* \Man stabs wife, tries to kill self: cops(NYP) * Tech-savvy Bronx drug gang busted(NYP) * Police Search For Suspects In Alleged Assault Of Homeless Man *Kelly announces 40 percent drop in citywide domestic violence deaths(NYP)

Busted big rig toll-cheat owes $25,000 for illegally using E-ZPass lanes: copsBusted big rig toll-cheat owes $25,000 for illegally using E-ZPass lanes: cops(NYP)

‘Attacked’ judge to sue city‘Attacked’ judge to sue city(NYP)