It was a landslide for Bill de Blasio last night, as New York City elected its first Democratic mayor in two decades. There wasn’t much suspense down the ballot; local office holders Margaret Chin and Rosie Mendez coasted to easy victories and will be returning to the City Council for four more years.
Judy Rapfogel, Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver’s chief of staff, is the subject of two news stories today concerning the investigation of her husband, the former head of the Met Council on Jewish Poverty.
Following the arrest of William Rapfogel on charges that he allegedly stole funds from the Met Council, attention has shifted to his wife, Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver’s chief of staff, as well as the Rapfogel family’s Lower East Side apartment.
Earlier this summer, a local resident started a petition drive to urge the city to add ferry service on the East River at Grand Street.
In Albany yesterday State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver apologized for his handling of the Vito Lopez sex harassment cases, but he rejected calls for his resignation. Here’s an excerpt from his remarks:
Assemblyman Vito Lopez was forced to resign his position effective today but for Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver the fallout from the Albany sex harassment scandal continues. Here’s a roundup of this morning’s newspapers.
The Times notes that the “scrutiny is not over for Silver,” the longtime Lower East Side Assemblyman, who was sharply criticized for his handling of the Lopez matter:
Lower East Side Assemblyman, Speaker Sheldon Silver, woke up to a second day of bad press following yesterday’s scathing ethics reports regarding the Vito Lopez sex harassment scandal. The Daily News says it’s time for Silver to go:
In a report released today, the state ethics commission was sharply critical of Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver’s handling of the Vito Lopez sexual harassment cases. The long-awaited report accuses Silver’s office of protecting Lopez from public scrutiny and of disregarding Assembly rules for failing to refer complaints from several employees to the legislative ethics committee.
If you collected a dollar every time the Post talked up Sheldon Silver’s potential demise, you’d probably be rich. So take this item about our local Assemblyman, Speaker Silver, with a heavy dose of skepticism. This morning, Post columnist Fred Dicker reports “exclusively” that Governor Cuomo is “considering ousting… Silver over Albany scandals.”
Two members of the Assembly are facing charges for allegedly accepting bribes. Last week, U.S. attorney Preet Bharara said, “It becomes more and more difficult to avoid the sad conclusion that political corruption in New York is indeed rampant” and “that a show-me-the-money culture in Albany is alive and well.”
This week, there was some news on the ongoing investigation of the Vito Lopez sex harassment scandal and Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver’s handling of the ordeal. The state’s Joint Commission on Public Ethics referred its recommendations to two Legislative panels but did not reveal the substance of those recommendations.
Multiple news organizations reported that Silver will not face charges as a result of the investigation. The longtime Lower East Side Assemblyman admitted making mistakes in dealing with the sensitive situation. He came under fire for approving payments to two of Lopez’s accusers. As the Times noted, “there was widespread doubt that the (ethics commission) would take any action against Mr. Silver, since his appointees to the commission’s board have effective veto power over its investigations.”