Sexual Harassment Settlement Shows Worst of Public Officials,
Galef mum on leadership missteps
September 4, 2012 — Assembly Candidate Kim Izzarelli has pressed her opponent, career politician Sandy Galef to debate, with no response. With two debates completed without her presence, Galef continues to evade important issues.
Today is no exception. Izzarelli asks why Galef isn’t for greater transparency on the misconduct issues of Assemblyman Vito Lopez and her own party leader, Speaker Sheldon Silver, whose approval of a cash settlement payment and confidentiality agreement circumvented the Assembly’s Ethics Committee.
While Galef acknowledges Lopez’s behavior, she has refused to fight on behalf of her women constituents.
“As a woman, a mother, and someone who believes sexual harassment of any form cannot be tolerated under any circumstances in any workplace, and I would insist that all ethical and procedural standards be applied consistently,” said Izzarelli, “Why isn’t Assemblywoman Sandy Galef asking Assemblyman Vito Lopez to resign? How was this settlement decision made? Why even bother having an Ethics Committee if its role can be so easily circumvented by Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver?”
Sexual Harassment demeans its victims and destroys their ability to pursue livelihood without fear of continued harassment.”Galef should be asking the difficult questions on behalf of all women and all New Yorkers. Why give Lopez another opportunity to redeem himself?” said Izzarelli, “He has violated more than one woman and violated the public trust. He should resign and Speaker Sheldon should step down.”
Questions like these should be asked in a public forum in order to hold public servants accountable, but Assemblywoman Galef has not agreed to any debates except the late October 29th, conveniently only nine days from Election Day.
Kim Izzarelli is a single mother of two who spent fifteen years in the private financial sector.