Assemblyman Lopez will resign amid sex scandal - New York News

Assemblyman Lopez will resign amid sex scandal

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NEW YORK (MYFOXNY) -

Democratic Assemblyman Vito Lopez, who represents New York City, said he will resign June 20 amid a sexual harassment scandal and run for a City Council seat.

Lopez has been under growing pressure after it was revealed the state secretly paid women $103,000 to settle sexual harassment claims against the one-time Brooklyn power broker.

Two blistering reports this week, from a special prosecutor and the state's Joint Commission on Public Ethics, painted an ugly picture of unwanted comments and contact from the 71-year-old assemblyman.

He does not face any criminal charges.

"I am gratified that Staten Island District Attorney Dan Donovan has concluded, after an exhaustive investigation, that there is no basis for brining criminal charges against me. I have maintained my innocence throughout this matter and I believe no criminal investigation should ever have been conducted," said Lopez.

On Thursday, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Lopez should resign or be expelled from the Assembly.

After Lopez announced his resignation, Cuomo issued a statement saying: "Vito Lopez should not spend another day in office, let alone a whole month. He should resign effective immediately and if he does not, he must be expelled. "

Late Thursday night, powerful Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver said he would push to throw him out of the legislature.

"I expect to run a vigorous campaign on the issues facing the citizens of my community and hope to continue to serve them as a member of the City Council," added Lopez.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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