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Criticism of Speaker Silver continues

ALBANY -- Two days after the state's ethics committee released a scathing report into Assemblyman Vito Lopez's alleged sexual harassment of female staffers, Speaker Sheldon Silver continues to feel the heat himself.

Shortly after Lopez announced he will resign at the end of the legislative session, June 20th, several GOP members of the assembly called for Silver to step down as well.

Assemblyman Steve McLaughlin, R- Melrose, questioned why the democrats are standing by a guy who tried to cover up the Lopez case.

"Where are they (and) why are they not standing up and holding him accountable as we are for outrageous behavior of covering up sexual abuse," said McLaughlin.

One assembly democrat, Phil Steck, D- Colonie, said he will vote to have Vito Lopez expelled but does not feel as though the speaker should resign. Silver does a lot for his 110th district and is a good leader, Steck said.

"I think the speaker brings great benefit to my district and my ability to work with someone in a leadership position that I believe listens," Steck said Friday. "I think those factors outweigh the speaker's own admitted failings in respect to this particular matter."

"The speaker didn't sexually harass anybody," Steck added after being asked if it were hypocritical of him to ask Lopez to resign but not Silver.

CBS 6 Capitol Correspondent, Pat Bailey, was told by the speaker's office he would be put on a call back list when asked if there was a comment on the story.
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