Assemblyman Vito Lopez ailing; faces ethics probe

February 19, 2013 Associated Press
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ALBANY— Vito Lopez, a Brooklyn assemblyman accused of sexually harassing young female staffers, says he has pneumonia and his health is “deteriorating.”

In a one-paragraph statement on Tuesday, the 71-year-old Lopez says it’s the second pneumonia diagnosis in nine months. He says he’s “extremely fatigued” with limited mobility.

Lopez announced in 2010 that he had esophageal cancer. He said he was diagnosed with leukemia in 1993.

The once-powerful Lopez lost his job as Brooklyn Democratic party boss and was stripped of his Assembly leadership role last summer after the allegations were made public. The claims were settled in a secret, $103,000 payment using taxpayer money.

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The state Joint Commission on Public Ethics is believed to have completed its investigation into Lopez and forwarded its findings to the Legislative Ethics Committee.

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