You Paid For It: Tax payers foot bill for sexual harassment claims
Updated: Friday, August 2 2013, 10:22 PM EDT
ALBANY - More than a hundred thousand dollars went to a woman who accused Assemblyman Vito Lopez of sexual harassment. That's a large amount of money, but the largest settlement? Six times that amount. According to records obtained by the Associated Press that settlement involved the State Office of Children and Family Services. A prisoner won a 300 thousand dollar settlement after an apparent inappropriate pat and frisk. So why are we paying the penalty?
"The tax payers shouldn't be made to pay for that judgment, they should pay for that judgment. In fact that money should be paid back to the taxpayers by all those individuals in the past," said Assemblyman Jim Tedisco.
According to Tedisco, there is one reason why this information isn't readily available.
"The real answer to that is the powerful leadership here and the governor hasn't allowed that to be put forth to the floor to make that a mandate on us," said Tedisco.
What would be in this proposed legislation?
"Total transparency. We should know the names of these sexual harassers, they should be held responsible and everything should be made public," said Tedisco.
Who should foot the bill for these settlements?
"Any state worker or anyone that is on the tax payers dime, if they are responsible for sexual harassment or any judgment against them, they should be financially responsible, not the taxpayers," said Tedisco.
After our interview with Assemblyman Tedisco we tried contacting the Public Employees Federation for comment, but as of this report, we haven't heard back.