Assemblyman Steve Katz, R-Yorktown, Westchester County, is being criticized by his Democratic foe in last year’s election for detailing on the Assembly floor yesterday the type of birth control that Katz’s workers use.
Katz owns a veterinarian hospital in the Bronx. During a contentious debate over an abortion bill, Katz at one point described how his female workers receive subsidized birth control.
“In the world of responsibility, now, at least in the city of New York, contraception is subsidized by the city and through Medicaid,” Katz said. “I have three young ladies working for me who every 90 days get a Depo-Provera shot, sub-Q, and that is paid for by the state.”
Katz’s spokesman Joseph Ahearn said Katz was referring to workers at his veterinarian hospital, not at the Capitol.
Andrew Falk, who ran unsuccessfully against Katz last year, said Katz’s comments were inappropriate, and he questioned how Katz would know the specifics of his workers’ birth-control methods. Katz has been a vocal critic of the sexual-harassment case involving Assemblyman Vito Lopez and specifically Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver’s handling of it.
“For someone who seems fixated on other people’s sexual-harassment issues, I wonder where did he get this information?” Falk said yesterday evening. “Is he talking to his three young female staffers, as he describes them, in his offices about their preferred method of contraception and how often they get it? It seems wholly inappropriate, and the hypocrisy of this man is just stunning.”
Ahearn said Falk shouldn’t be talking about hypocrisy. He said Falk was silent about Silver’s role in the Lopez scandal as he took campaign cash from the state Democratic Assembly Campaign Committee.
“He can’t really call us a hypocrite because he never took the opportunity to call for an independent investigation of Sheldon Silver last year, and he was only one defending him because he got hundreds of thousands of dollars from him in DACC money,” Ahearn said.
Falk knocked Katz for voting against the 10-point women’s agenda that passed the Assembly yesterday. Falk charged that Katz was at the center of a sexual harassment case at his veterinarian office.
“For someone who has his own sexual harassment history, where he fired someone who came to him complaining to him about sexual harassment in his office, today just proves it’s just another opportunity for him to vote against women,” Falk said. “And time and time again he has done that.”
Ahearn said the sexual-harassment lawsuit wasn’t against Katz, but his office.
“Assemblyman Katz has never been charged with sexual harassment. He had to represent his clinic,” Ahearn said.