By Tom Precious
ALBANY -- State Republican Party Chairman Ed Cox yesterday lashed out at Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver for the lawmaker's prediction to The Buffalo News that he will be vindicated by a state ethics agency over his handling of a $103,000 payment to resolve sexual harassment complaints against Brooklyn Assemblyman Vito Lopez.
This afternoon, Cox, in a new written statement, wants to add some more thoughts:
“Yesterday, Silver told the Buffalo News that he ‘acted in the best interests of the victims’ in concealing sexual assaults by a powerful Democratic member of the Assembly. Speaker Silver, it is reported that the settlement agreement required that the VICTIMS pay a $10,000 fine if they publicly disclosed the settlement. If true, this fact alone shreds your defense. And if you were concerned with victims, why did you fail to report the assaults to the Assembly Ethics Committee, as your Assembly rules required, with the result that a serial sexual abuser struck additional victims? And why have you failed to take responsibility for these victims? And why did the reported official misconduct happen of disguising payments to victims as for "legal services." Speaker Silver, your stated defense is in tatters, and there are unanswered questions which carry ethical and criminal liabilities.”