Assemblyman Kieran Michael Lalor
For Immediate Release May 29, 2013
Lalor Contact: Chris Covucci – (845) 309-2654 or firstname.lastname@example.org Nojay Contact: Ed Weist – (518) 455-5743
Albany, NY – (5/29/13) – Today, Assemblymen Kieran Michael Lalor (R,C,I – Fishkill) and Bill Nojay (R,I) joined a coalition of assembly members to demand a stop to Speaker Sheldon Silver’s war on women. The lawmakers are calling for further investigation into Silver’s actions, demanding that the speaker repay taxpayers for the $103,000 secret Lopez settlement agreement and asking Assembly Democrats to remove Silver.
“The JCOPE investigation revealed Speaker Silver’s cover-up attempt,” said Assemblyman Lalor. “The report shows Silver was intent on protecting himself and his friend. Silver needs to reimburse taxpayers for the $103,000 spent as part of the settlement agreement he tried to hide. Silver wasn’t trying to protect the victims. He was only protecting Lopez. He needs to reimburse the state for public funds used as part of the cover-up. We haven’t heard much from Assembly Democrats on the JCOPE report. Only one had the courage to stand up to Silver. New Yorkers deserve better than that. For years, Silver has waged his own war on women. The Assembly Democrats need to remove Silver or explain why they still stand with him. A Democrat president wrote Profiles in Courage. There must be a few more Assembly Democrats who could be a ‘profile in courage’ and stand up to Silver.”
“We have a very clear message for women in New York – you should not have to fear sexual abuse in your workplace or anywhere else. Your government should protect you and defend you from such horrific violations. We are calling for further investigation into the cover-up of multiple incidents of sexual abuse by Sheldon Silver. We must hold Silver accountable for his actions and protect women in the workplace,” said Assemblyman Nojay.
The Joint Commission on Public Ethics report on Vito Lopez concluded that Silver kept the settlement agreement secret at Lopez’s request. The report’s conclusion is contrary to Silver’s original defense that the settlement was kept confidential to protect the victims. The report further revealed possible fraud by Silver’s office in the handling of the settlement payment. The settlement check was deceptively characterized as “Legal-Attorney” expenses in the Assembly’s accounting to further obscure the settlement from the public.
Lalor continued, “We’re also calling on the U.S. Attorney and the Albany County district attorney to investigate the possibility of mail or wire fraud. Silver’s office intentionally mislabeled the checks as part of the cover-up. The public was deceived throughout the process. We need an investigation to thoroughly account for what happened. The pattern of deception from the speaker’s office demands further investigation.”
“If the allegations made against Lopez and Silver had occurred anywhere other than the Assembly, there would be charges filed. Politicians should be held to the same standards as everyday citizens. Sexual abuse of women in the workplace is reprehensible, and covering it up is even worse. Politicians who abuse their power in this manner must be held accountable to the full extent of the law,” said Nojay.
Assemblyman Kieran Michael Lalor, a former teacher at Our Lady of Lourdes in Poughkeepsie, is a Marine Corps veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom and founder of the Dutchess County based consulting firm KML Strategies, LLC. Lalor is the founder of Afghanistan & Iraq Veterans for Congress and a frequent guest on the Fox News Channel. He is a graduate of John Jay High School, Providence College and Pace Law School and lives in Fishkill with his wife Mary Jo and their four young children Katie, Riley, Mikey and Kieran Jr..