Channel 6 News - Search Results
Former Lopez staffers file lawsuit against him and Speaker Silver
Two of the four women accusing Vito Lopez of sexual harassment have now filed a federal and state lawsuit against not only Lopez but Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver.
The lawsuit was filed Thursday in the United State District Court`s Southern District office. The Plaintiffs are former Lopez staffers Victoria Burhans and Chloe Rivera.
According to the lawsuit the two women were hired after two previous female staffers left Lopez`s office and received a secret $135,000 settlement to keep quiet about being sexual harassed themselves. The lawsuit states the women were unaware of Lopez`s behavior because the settlement was kept quiet. That secret payment was approved by Speaker Silver.
The lawsuit claims that Silver is being sued because he is just as much to blame as Lopez. "Silver created a policy or custom in which Lopez believed he could sexually harass women on his staff with impunity", the lawsuit states.
One one occasion Lopez even asked on staffer, Burhans, to spend the night in the Governor`s Executive Mansion naked in a "Lincoln bedroom situation" in order to get a bill passed.
According to the lawsuit the plaintiffs are seeking punitive damages along with compensatory damages "for mental anguish".
Lopez has repeatedly denied any wrong doing and Silver recently apologized for trying to keep the settlement to the first two women secret.
Read the lawsuit filed in court against Lopez and Silver
Read the lawsuit filed in court against the assembly and state