Stewart-Cousins: Capitol sexual harassment culture ‘disturbing’

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Senate Democratic Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins, D-Yonkers, said during a public radio interview Thursday that persistent reports of sexual harassment against women in the Legislature are “disturbing” and “intolerable.”

stewartcousinsAnd she said there has been a long-standing anti-woman culture state government.

“It’s absolutely disturbing to hear, day after day, a variety of different things that have happened,” Stewart-Cousins said on “The Capitol Pressroom”. “And look, I think that it’s pretty clear that this has been, in many ways, in the Legislature, an ongoing situation.”

Stewart-Cousins, the first woman to lead a legislative conference in Albany, said that New York Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney, a Democrat who once worked as a staffer at the Capitol, was shocked that Stewart-Cousins was elected leader, given her gender.

This year, the Capitol was rocked by scandals, some surrounding bribery and corruption and others involving sexual misconduct.

Now resigned Assemblyman Vito Lopez, D-Brooklyn, was accused in a detailed report of sexually harassing and inappropriately touching several female employees, and Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, D-Manhattan, has been blasted for quietly settling the matter with two victims.

And past allegations against another Assembly Democrat came out this week. The New York Times reported that an Assembly lawyer failed to investigate claims that Assemblyman Micah Kellner, D-Manhattan, harassed a female staffer over the Internet. Silver told the Times he plans to fire the attorney, Bill Collins.

Stewart-Cousins said the string of sex scandals highlight the need for the Women’s Equality Act, a controversial piece of legislation that failed this legislative session amid disagreement over an abortion component. The bill also expanded sexual harassment protections for women in the workplace.

“The reality is that we are at this point now that there is an awareness that behavior like this is intolerable,” Stewart-Cousins said.

“These behaviors are intolerable,” she stressed. “They won’t be tolerated. It’s not acceptable. This culture cannot continue to exist.”

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  1. Well Rex Smith How does it feel to have more Egg on your face ?

    You said Keep Shelly Silver & guess what you were WRONG AGAIN, just like in 2006 when You said Alan Hevesi should be re-elected.

    You need to resign as Editor of The Albany Times Union,

    Brian Kolb you must resign at once, you have been totally useless as GOP Minority Leader.

    Time to pay the piper

    Before there was the “Oracle of Delphi” there was Count Vampire J. Machiavelli

    VJ Machiavelli
    On Twitter VJ Machiavelli

  2. . . . and after reading “Stewart-Cousins concerns HABIBHASAN-An American Storyteller was concerned that what isn’t the Representative of the People ( actually ) reflect what is going on in Private? So! Are rules different for the ” . . Capitol” and different in for example in and around where Ms.Cousins was elected from!

    May be We are all Angeles! Can We Please unanimously elect Gary Hart For President in 2016!

    But! Monica Lewinsky must be feeling left out! Can some one tell her to call me!

    By the way, I Smoke Cigars too! Dip in Wine. . ..( Joke ) !