State GOP chairman Ed Cox renewed calls today that Gov. Andrew Cuomo appoint a special prosecutor to investigate Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver’s handling of sexually harassment accusations against disgraced, former Assemblyman Vito Lopez.
Two of Lopez’s alleged victims filed lawsuits in state and federal courts yesterday accusing Silver of being complicit in their abuse from Lopez.
“Governor, the failure of JCOPE, which you sold to New Yorkers as the ‘toughest ethics enforcer in our state’s history,’ and your subsequent inaction has necessitated action by individuals in the private sector to bring justice to Sheldon Silver and Vito Lopez’ victims,” Cox said in a statement. “It’s not too late to do the right thing: appoint a special prosecutor who would not be subject to the same constraints as JCOPE or the Richmond County District Attorney.”
Cuomo has condemned Lopez, who has since resigned, but has refrained from calling for Silver’s removal as speaker, saying it’s up to the Assembly to pick its leader. Assembly Republicans have asked for a special prosecutor, as well.
“If you do not use the powers of your office to ensure that justice is done thoroughly and without political restrictions, you will become part of Albany’s culture of political corruption and just one more enabler of the Assembly’s ongoing scandals,” Cox said.