ALBANY – Assemblywoman Angela M. Wozniak, a Cheektowaga Republican member of the Assembly – who came to office following the resignation of her predecessor amid sexual harassment allegations – is set to be sanctioned Wednesday for her own alleged lapses in behavior with a staff member.
Wozniak is expected to be rebuked by an ethics committee that has been investigating allegations that she sexually harassed a male staffer, according to two Assembly sources with information about the case.
Wozniak, who succeeded former Assemblyman Dennis H. Gabryszak following his own sexual harassment run-ins, has been under investigation since last year by the Assembly Ethics Committee for claims she coerced the staff member into having sex.
The freshman lawmaker could not be reached for comment Tuesday night.
“We haven’t heard anything,” said Steven M. Cohen, Wozniak’s Buffalo attorney, who said Wozniak texted him after she received media calls Tuesday night. “She doesn’t know anything, either.”
It remains to be seen what precisely Assembly Speaker Carl E. Heastie, D-Bronx, will do with the Ethics Committee findings; he has enormous leeway in sanctioning members in such matters. A Heastie spokesman declined to comment.
Two Assembly sources confirmed that the Ethics Committee will release its findings in the investigation Wednesday. One hinted that Heastie could impose financial sanctions. An Assembly source, speaking on condition of anonymity, said that there was a great discrepancy on what may have happened between Wozniak and Elias Farah, her legislative director, who brought the allegations that ended up before the ethics panel.
Though Farah was not an intern but a member of her paid staff, Wozniak is expected to be banned from having interns work in her office. Also, a monitor is to be appointed to examine the work environment in her legislative office at least every six months, according to an Assembly source with knowledge of the matter.
Wozniak was elected in 2014 after Gabryszak resigned following claims by female staffers that he repeatedly engaged in sexual harassment, including sending lewd photographs of himself and asking at least one woman to have sex with him.