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Speaker Silver Demands That Assemblyman Lopez Resign From Legislature

NEW YORK(CBSNewYork) -- Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver has faced serious questions about his handling of a sexual harassment case involving Assemblyman Vito Lopez, but he will still carry out the high-profile job of leading the New York delegation at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte.

Silver told CBS 2's Marcia Kramer that in the midst of the scandal he demanded that Lopez give up his seat in the Assembly.

"I called him last week and suggested to him that he on his own resign his assembly seat. He did not respond in a fashion other than to say 'I can't do that at this time'," Silver said.

Governor Andrew Cuomo told CBS 2's Dick Brennan that dual investigations will get to the bottom of the case.

"Let the investigations go ahead, let's get the facts, and then we'll see where we are," he said.

Silver authorized a secret settlement to a pair of Lopez accusers in June. In August Lopez was censured following two additional harassment allegations.

1010 WINS Reporter Glenn Schuck reports...


Staten Island District Attorney has been appointed as a special prosecutor in the case and the State's Joint Commission On Public Ethics is expected to begin its probe on Tuesday.

Silver was not the only one calling on Lopez to resign; city Council Speaker Christine Quinn, called the charges outrageous and demanded that Assemblyman Lopez resign.

"These sexual harassment findings and charges are outrageous and Assemblyman Lopez must resign immediately so we can all move forward," the Speaker said.

And Assemblyman Hakeem Jeffries called the allegations shocking.

"If the allegations are true he certainly should either resign or be removed from the legislature. These allegations shock the conscience," he said.

Lopez has insisted that he did not do anything wrong and has refused to resign, but the case has raised questions about the way that Albany operates.

Should Assemblyman Lopez resign? Share your thoughts in our comments section below...

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