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Vito Lopez Ethics Finding

Vito Lopez Ethics Finding

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Published by David Lombardo
Findings by the Legislative Ethics Commission
Findings by the Legislative Ethics Commission

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Published by: David Lombardo on Jun 11, 2013
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06/11/2013

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DISPOSITION REPORT
STATE OF NEW YORK LEGISLATIVE ETHICS COMMISSIONSUBSTANTIAL BASIS INVESTIGATION REPORTJCOPE-127IN THE MATTER OF AN INVESTIGATIONOF ASSEMBLY MEMBER VITO LOPEZDISPOSITION AND NOTICEOF CIVIL ASSESSMENT
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Pursuant to Executive Law §94(14-a), the Legislative Ethics Commission (LEC) received aSubstantial Basis Investigation Report from the Joint Commission on Public Ethics (JCOPE) onFebruary 20, 2013. The report determines that there is a substantial basis to conclude that former Assemblymember Lopez violated Public Officers Law §§74(3)(d),(f), and (h) through knowingand intentional conduct.The LEC also received from Daniel M. Donovan Jr., District Attorney for Richmond County andSpecial Prosecutor for the Vito Lopez criminal investigation, a request dated February 14, 2013that the LEC, not make public the JCOPE report and that it suspend its actions pursuant toLegislative Law §80(9)(b) because of an ongoing criminal investigation. The LEC complied withthis request, pursuant to the statute, and released the report on May 15, 2013 when the District
Attorney Donovan’s
Office informed the LEC that it had concluded its investigation.On May 21, 2013, the LEC served Vito Lopez, via certified mail return receipt requested, with anotice of adjudicatory hearing for the purpose of assessing penalties, scheduled on June 4, 2013at 10:30 a.m.
Mr. Lopez’ attorney was also notified via electronic mail o
such hearing. TheLEC, pursuant to the request of counsel for Mr. Lopez also additional materials received fromJCOPE relevant to findings against Mr. Lopez.On June 4, 2013 at 10:30a.m., the LEC convened a hearing for the purpose of assessing civil penalties. Neither Mr. Lopez, nor his counsel was present for the hearing, thereby not availinghimself of his opportunity to be heard.Pursuant to Legislative Law Section 80(10), the L
EC concurs with JCOPE’s
conclusions of lawthat there is a substantial basis to find that former Assemblymember Vito Lopez violated PublicOfficers Law §74(3)(d), (f), and (h) through knowing and intentional conduct. Based upon areview of the report and supplemental materials provided by JCOPE, the LEC concurs that bymaking numerous inappropriate actions and offensive comments of a sexual nature with certainlegislative staff members under his supervision and professional employment; subjecting certainfemale legislative staff members under his supervision and professional employment to

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