NEW YORK (PIX11)– New York State Assemblyman Vito Lopez, who is accused of preying on and forcing young female staffers to touch him, will leave office in June.
The disgraced Assemblyman released a statement on Friday:
“I am gratified that Staten Island District Attorney Dan Donovan has concluded, after an exhaustive investigation, that there is no basis for bringing criminal charges against me. I have maintained my innocence throughout this matter and I believe no criminal investigation should ever have been conducted. I have made no secret that I intend to run for New York City Council in November, which requires me to resign my current term. Nevertheless, 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. I therefore announce that as of June 20, 2013, the last day of the session, I resign my position. 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. I believe that the voters of the community should decide who should represent them.”
Eight of his former staffers say they were forced to massage him and feel his tumors. Some women allege he even rubbed their thighs.
Governor Andrew Cuomo released a statement on Friday as well:
“As I said yesterday, there should be a zero tolerance policy when it comes to sexual harassment and we must now send a clear message that this behavior is not tolerated. Vito Lopez should not spend another day in office, let alone a whole month. He should resign effective immediately and if he does not, he must be expelled. ”