Assemblyman Vito Lopez, who is being investigated for sexually harassing young female workers, was diagnosed with pneumonia last week and has “deteriorating health,” his office said in a statement today.
Lopez announced in 2010 that he had esophageal cancer after he was first diagnosed with leukemia in 1993.
The once powerful Brooklyn Democratic party boss was stripped of his Assembly leadership role last summer after it was revealed he had allegedly harassed his staff.
“Assemblyman Vito Lopez was diagnosed last week with pneumonia, for the 2nd time in 9 months,” his office said in a statement. “The pneumonia has caused Assembly(man) Vito Lopez to be extremely fatigued and seriously mobility limited. The recuperation period is anticipated to be 4-8 weeks and possibly longer due Assembly Lopez diminished immune system and deteriorating health.”
The state Joint Commission on Public Ethics is believed to have completed its investigation of the case last week and forwarded its findings to the Legislative Ethics Committee. The probed ensnared Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, D-Manhattan, who agreed to privately pay the two women about $103,000 in a settlement.
Lopez, 71, was first elected in 1984.