Assemblywoman Sandra Galef, D-Ossining, Westchester County, ripped the atmosphere of “inappropriate behavior” in the Legislature after another colleague was accused of sexual harassment of aides.
Assemblyman Dennis Gabryszak, D-Cheektowaga, Erie County, was accused yesterday in a notice of claim of harassing three female aides.
Galef is a veteran female member of the Democratic conference.
She and others have decried the string of sexual harassment cases involving male lawmakers and their young female aides, but they have yet to call for the ouster of Speaker Sheldon Silver, D-Manhattan, who has headed the Assembly since 1994.
Galef was first elected in 1992. She doesn’t mention Silver or Gabryszak by name in her statement.
“As lawmakers, we make the laws with the expectation that we, of all people, will follow these laws. We must be held to a higher standard,” Galef’s statement continued.
“Another assembly member has been accused of taking advantage of his position of power to make his own staff feel smaller and sullied. This type of behavior can lead to mental anguish, emotional distress, loss of employment, income, and future employment opportunities, just to name a few as described in the claim filed.
“In addition to these potential individual problems experienced, it can also lead to lowered office morale, and ultimately it feeds the negative perception of all those elected to represent the people. It must stop.”