A top attorney for Assembly Democrats is out of a job after it became known the chamber didn’t investigate a sexual harassment claim four years ago against Assemblyman Micah Kellner, D-Manhattan.
From The New York Times:
Four years ago, a junior staff member in Assemblyman Micah Z. Kellner’s office complained to her supervisor that she was being harassed by Mr. Kellner, an Upper East Side Democrat. The supervisor, a top aide to Mr. Kellner, reported the matter to Bill Collins, who, as counsel to the majority party, ran the Assembly’s legal staff. The senior Kellner aide presented Mr. Collins with 15 pages of Internet chat transcripts, in which Mr. Kellner made suggestive remarks to the junior staff member, a woman in her early 20s who was new to the job.
The report appears to have stopped at Mr. Collins’s desk. The Assembly’s staff never began a formal inquiry, and the matter was not referred to the Assembly’s ethics committee, in keeping with a longstanding practice in the chamber of shielding members from embarrassment.
A spokesman for Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver told the Times that Silver was not made aware of the allegations until last month. Silver and Collins were criticized in a pair of reports from the Joint Commission on Public Ethics and a special prosecutor earlier this month for failing to investigate — and instead, confidentially settling — initial harassment claims against Assemblyman Vito Lopez, D-Brooklyn, who eventually resigned.