New York Democratic Assemblyman Vito Lopez, who has been accused by multiple women of sexual harassment, wrote in a statement that he will resign his position at the end of the legislative term but continue his campaign for city council, the New York Times reports.
Several prominent New York Democrats have called on Lopez to step down, including Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
The Assembly last year censured Mr. Lopez for sexually harassing two women who worked for him, and it had previously secretly settled two other harassment allegations against him. But the anger over his conduct intensified this week, after the state’s Joint Commission on Public Ethics issued a report detailing the behavior alleged by multiple women, and on Thursday, Mr. Cuomo and Mr. [Assembly Speaker Sheldon] Silver, both Democrats, said they wanted the Assembly to expel Mr. Lopez.
Lopez released a statement saying he would resign.
“Because the citizens of my district voted me back into office last November by an overwhelming majority, I feel obligated to serve out this session of the Assembly,’’ he said. “I therefore announce that as of June 20, 2013, the last day of the session, I resign my position.”
Many are saying that date is not soon enough. They are also outraged that Lopez will continue to seek a seat on the New York City Council.
“I expect to run a vigorous campaign on the issues facing the citizens of my community and hope to continue to serve them as a member of the City Council,” Mr. Lopez said in his statement. “I believe that the voters of the community should decide who should represent them.”