The sexual misconduct scandal facing the New York Assembly widened Sunday after a Senate candidate reported that she was sexually harassed when she worked on the Assembly Ways and Means committee.
A couple of weeks ago, at least four women came forward alleging they were sexually harassed by Vito Lopez, an Assemblyman representing the Bronx. As more details emerged, it was revealed that Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver approved of a $100,000 settlement to keep one of Lopez’s accusers quiet and shield him from a scandal.
Monica Arias Miranda, the Senate hopeful said at a press conference, “Vito Lopez is just a smokescreen and cover up for something much bigger,” according to the New York Post.
Miranda continued, “Why are the elected officials calling for Mr. Lopez’s resignation yet are not willing to say the same about the speaker, who is the one responsible for using $100,000 of tax-dollar money to hush the sexual harassment allegations?”
At the press conference, Miranda alleges that she was sexually harassed by a former boss who she refused to identify. She listed a number of accusations in what she called “the good ol’ boy culture” of the NY Assembly.
Miranda alleges that her sexual harassment was mostly verbal and that she reported the abuse, but no one took her seriously and her complaints were ignored.
Employers who ignore these types of complaints give the abused employee no other alternative than to hire a sexual harassment lawyer and file a suit. This is often the only way to get an employer to recognize harassment and stop the behavior.