A 28-year-old New York lawmaker has been banned from having interns after an ethics investigation found that she had an affair with a member of her staff and then punished him for breaking things off, according to the Buffalo News.
Angela Wozniak had an affair last summer with her office’s legislative director Elias Farah, who brought the complaint to the state’s ethics committee. Farah complained that after Wozniak told her husband about the affair she used the press to tarnish his reputation and also lied about his job performance to keep him from getting another job.
The affair between Wozniak, who is married and has a young child, and her employee began in what both parties told investigators was a consensual relationship in early June. It was broken off by Farah later that month, according to an ethics panel letter to Heastie that was released Wednesday afternoon. It said she continued to pursue a sexual relationship with him until she told her husband of the affair on June 28.
Allegations that she sexually harassed a male member of her staff came to the committee on July 2, and a probe of the matter was begun by the committee’s outside investigative firm. The investigation included 19 interviews, including last month with Wozniak, as well as hundreds of phone calls, email, recordings and other information.
The ethics panel removed her from the assembly’s intern program and also placed an outside investigator in her office to observe her actions from this point forward. She has also been ordered to immediately begin sexual harassment training.
The ethics panel announced the punishments in “a letter of admonition” to Wozniak.
Farah, who was being paid while the investigation was in progress, will be placed in a separate office and earn the same pay. His salary, however, will still come out of Wozniak’s budget.
Wozniak did not comment to the press but her lawyer said that she is “glad” the investigation has finished.
“Assemblywoman Wozniak is glad this matter is now closed and looks forward to diverting 100 percent of her attention to representing her constituents,” said Wozniak’s lawyer.