NY ethics board meets amid Vito Lopez sex harass scandal

September 10, 2012 Associated Press
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ALBANY — The state’s Joint Commission on Public Ethics is scheduled to meet today amid a growing legislative sexual harassment scandal.

JCOPE isn’t issuing an agenda and won’t confirm the scandal has been or will be discussed in the board’s closed-door sessions.

A special prosecutor is already investigating sexual harassment claims against Williamsburg-Bushwick Assemblman Vito Lopez as well as a settlement approved by Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver. The settlement used $103,000 of public money to end the first set of accusations against Lopez.

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On Friday Gov. Andrew Cuomo, Silver and Senate leader Dean Skelos all made public statements that their appointees should vote to start an investigation.

JCOPE board member Ravi (rah-vee) Batra (bah-tra) announced Friday that he has contacted federal agents to investigate corruption in JCOPE. Hours later, he resigned.

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