McLAUGHLIN: SILVER NEEDS TO FACE CONSEQUENCES, NOT ABUSE STATE TAXPAYERS

McLAUGHLIN: SILVER NEEDS TO FACE CONSEQUENCES, NOT ABUSE STATE TAXPAYERS

 Assemblyman Steve McLaughlin (R,C,I-Melrose) today was angered by a recent Daily News report that indicates embattled Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver will use taxpayer dollars to fund his legal defense as he fights lawsuits filed by the victims of disgraced former Assemblyman Vito Lopez. Silver authorized a secret settlement of $103,000 to the abuse victims of Mr. Lopez when he should have sent the complaints to the Assembly ethics committee as required by Assembly rules. McLaughlin called the move cowardly and is now claiming that Silver is abusing the taxpayers of New York.

“Most people remember the old adage ‘actions have consequences.’ Mr. Silver needs to face the consequences and fund his own legal defense; the consequences should not be at the expense of state taxpayers,” said McLaughlin.

“It’s appalling that after Mr. Silver was caught red-handed facilitating a six-figure secret settlement in an effort to cover-up multiple instances of sexual abuse by a perverted member of his that he has the audacity to use our money to fight his legal battle. Only after Mr. Silver was caught did he admit his mistake, and because he couldn’t follow the rules he put into place, taxpayers are supposed to be on the hook for his defense? Not only did he continue to enable Mr. Lopez to abuse, but now, Mr. Silver is abusing taxpayers in the utmost shameful and despicable way.”

Historically, the attorney general represents state officials in legal matters, but because Attorney General Schneiderman’s office advised and participated in the 2012 settlement and cover-up, Silver will be the beneficiary of other attorneys and legal services at the expense of state taxpayers.

“Any person with morals or integrity would foot the bill themselves. Then again, any person with morals or integrity would not cover up and continue to enable multiple instances of sexual abuse and harassment by those who work with and for them.

“According to the latest state Board of Elections filing, Mr. Silver has more than $3.2 million in his war chest. If he had any shred of decency left in him, he would use his own money to fight the legal battles that are the cause of his negligence and arrogance.

“I certainly don’t expect to hear a word from our Governor. The man who claimed he was going to clean up Albany has been stunningly silent on the issue since the beginning. The Governor continues to enable the enabler by not calling for Mr. Silver’s resignation, and his tolerance of Mr. Silver’s behavior is alarming. If Governor Cuomo is serious about cleaning up Albany and not just putting politics ahead of morality, he will do as I have done and call for Speaker Silver to resign. Just as alarming is the support for Mr. Silver by the Assembly Democrat conference. The hypocrisy is simply stunning. While claiming to support women’s equality, they support a speaker who has repeatedly enabled and covered up sexual abuse and harassment.”

Assemblyman McLaughlin represents the 107th district, which consists of parts of Rensselaer, Columbia and Washington counties. For more information, please visit Assemblyman McLaughlin’s official website.

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Steve McLaughlin for Assembly