Ethics panel calls special meeting

Aug 31, 2012

The state’s ethics board has called a special meeting immediately after Labor Day. The news comes after Governor Andrew Cuomo and others have called for an investigation of a sexual harassment scandal in the State Assembly.

The Joint Commission on Public Ethics, or JCOPE, has called a special meeting for Tuesday, September 4.  No agenda is listed, and the commission says it does not confirm or comment on investigations.

But the meeting comes after Cuomo and others have called on JCOPE to look into the circumstances of sexual harassment charges against Assemblyman Vito Lopez, a Democrat from Brooklyn.

Lopez was censured by the Assembly Ethics Committee. Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver is under fire for paying  $103,000 in a secret settlement to alleged victims of Lopez.

The speaker has already said that he welcomes an investigation, and  hopes the probe will allow the Assembly to end confidentiality clauses that he says will lead to the public release of more documents, and ultimately, the truth.