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What about Speaker Silver? Assembly members call for investigation following JCOPE report
ALBANY -- A week after the state's ethics committee released a scathing report about Vito Lopez and two days after Speaker Sheldon Silver apologized, assembly members are still hoping the head of the house will be probed for his role in the matter.
All 42 assembly republicans, along with one breakaway assembly democrat, are still pushing for the state's ethics board to investigation Speaker Sheldon Silver. If not the group would like to see Silver step down.
On Thursday, the last day of session this week, assembly republican women were vocal about the speaker. They say the Joint Commission On Public Ethics should be investigating Silver for his role in the Vito Lopez scandal.
JCOPE's report released last week said Silver tried to keep the issue quiet by approving a $103,000 settlement check to two of the accusers. Silver never mentioned the deal and allowed Lopez to hire two more female staffers after the settlement, the report stated.
"I think there was something done inappropriate (and) he has admitted it was a mistake so he knows it was inappropriate," said Assembly member Nicole Malliotakis, R-Brooklyn. "There for he should be investigated by this ethics committee."
However not all women agree with Malliotakis. Fellow assembly member Patricia Fahy, D- Albany, said the speaker apologized and that was enough for her.
"I'm going to be very vigilant about this, very vigilant," Fahy said. "I am not happy but I do think there is a commitment to make sure this institution is one where all people feel is a safe working environment."
Assembly GOP members say the democrats continuing, staunch, support of Silver is hypocritical.
"I think there is an opportunity here to really stand up for women and many of the members who claim to be those advocates for women's rights and claim to be leading the charge for equality aren't saying anything," said Malliotakis.
It is unclear whether or not the speaker was ever up in front of JCOPE to be investigated since much of their discussions on investigative matters are done behind closed doors in executive session.
Of the 14 member JCOPE board eight are needed to approve an investigation, However, just three members are needed to veto a probe.
Speaker Silver appointed three members to the board himself.
CBS6 Capitol Correspondent, Pat Bailey, called all three members. One called back to say they can not comment on JCOPE matters.