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GOP: More probes needed in sex harass 'cover up'
ALBANY -- Assembly Republicans are calling for further investigation of Democratic Speaker Sheldon Silver's role in a secret settlement using public money to end sexual harassment claims against a member.
The Republicans are demanding that Silver reimburse taxpayers $103,000 for the deal he made with lawyers for women who accused Democratic Assemblyman Vito Lopez of systematic sexual harassment.
This month, the state ethics board accused Lopez of civil violations of the public officer's law, but found no crime or ethical violations by Silver.
But the Republicans are questioning Wednesday whether the board was authorized to look into misdeeds by Silver.
Another report, by a Republican prosecutor, was limited to activity by Lopez in his Brooklyn district.
The Republicans also question if fraud was committed because the $103,000 wasn't identified as a settlement.