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Party’s over! Vito Lopez cedes Democratic party post amid harassment allegations

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Embattled Assemblyman Vito Lopez will give up his powerful post as Brooklyn Democratic party boss amid allegations that he groped and attempted to kiss two employees.

The influential Bushwick politician — who last week lost his title as chair of the Assembly’s Committee on Housing after staffers accused him of sexual harassment — revealed in a bombshell, all-capital-letter statement that he will not seek re-election in September as chairman of borough Dems because of the “emotional pressures on my family and close friends” caused by “character attacks.”

“My political history has been to fight through challenges and political conflicts but, for the sake of loved ones and the Democratic party, it is important that I take this action,” Lopez said in a statement.

Lopez has not resigned from his Assembly seat and is running uncontested for his 15th term in November.

Last week, the Assembly’s Committee on Ethics and Guidance censured Lopez, stripped him of his Housing post, and reduced his office budget after two employees claimed the North Brooklyn politician made sexually charged statements towards them, groped one woman’s upper thigh, played with a staffer’s hair, and tried to kiss an employee between early June and mid-July.

Party insiders will vote on Lopez’s replacement in the coming weeks, and it’s unclear who will emerge at the top — though Canarsie Democratic district leader Frank Seddio’s name is making the rounds in political circles.

Seddio did not return repeated phone calls.

Longtime Lopez opponent and Williamsburg district leader Lincoln Restler said he is happy to see his adversary leave the party post, and hopes actions against the Assemblyman will go even further.

“Vito Lopez is a sexual predator who should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law with both criminal and civil charges against him,” said Restler, who is one of those who will vote on Lopez’s replacement. “His corrupt reign has, fortunately, come to an end.”

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Reader Feedback

Bob from Bay Ridge says:
Seddio???? Are you kidding? This guy actually spoke up in defense of Carl Kruger, repeatedly! If the idea is to get any questions of corruption out of the chairmanship, Seddio is the exact wrong way to go!
Aug. 28, 2012, 4:03 pm
Juan from Gowanus says:
Sayonara Vito Gropez!
Aug. 28, 2012, 4:08 pm
Tim from down the block says:
Do these guys think they can get away with this crap?
They think they are invincible. Idiots!
Aug. 28, 2012, 4:17 pm
jerry from brighton beach says:
Seddio for Kings County Democratic Chair ?

If he accepts , he'll be in the DA's target zone right away.

He's just as bad as Kruger , Weiner , Norman , Lopez all put together. LOL.
Aug. 28, 2012, 4:47 pm
Bay Ridger from Bay Ridge says:
OUT with the old. IN with the new.

Marty Golden needs to be next.
Aug. 28, 2012, 4:55 pm
Bill from Glendale says:
He thinks he should still b in office what a jerk please ladies I'm sorry this happen to you press charges and sue but don't go to the Brooklyn DA ask the gov to appoint someone Lopez is a jerk file crimmal charges please. And for all u politicians. U better impeach him n get him out the people r fed up that's our tax money n get sheldon out of office don't they have to get the ok to spend so much of our tax dollars. What a shame. May Vito rot in he'll
Aug. 28, 2012, 6:39 pm
Anywho says:
Bay Ridger from Bay Ridge you mean....

Out with the old and in with the old. With Seddio, Vito rules by proxy.
Aug. 29, 2012, 7:22 am
Ben from Greenpoint says:
Jerry.. forgot to ad to list New York Governor Eliot Spitzer.....
Aug. 29, 2012, 10:53 am
judahspechal from bed-stuy says:
Well well well, guess I wasn't that crazy calling this perp a poverty pimp!!!
Aug. 29, 2012, 11:36 am
Louis from Greenpoint says:
The more things change the moe they stay the same
Aug. 29, 2012, 12:53 pm
CraigS from Bushwick says:
I'm glad I'm Green Party State Committee Member
The Democratic Party machine will just replace with another corrupt boss. It's the nature of the party infrastructure.

Does Lincoln Restler, even though very honorably intentioned, really believe that this move will result in reform? The Democratic Party can not be reformed because the leaders, the rules, the patronage, is designed to perpetuate the system regardless of who the "boss" is.
Aug. 29, 2012, 1:17 pm
Scott from Park Slope says:
Vito Lopez and nearly the entire Brooklyn Democratic machine are corrupt to the core. Look at the way the Boylands have played round-robin with all the seats that represent their area. It's virtually their fiefdom. Vito Lopez and his puppets like Dilan are just as bad in their part of the borough. If there were any justice the entire organization would be taken apart through the RICO statute. Maybe some day we'll get an honest DA who'll do exactly that. Or an FBI that can stop persecuting muslims and do its job.
Aug. 29, 2012, 5:44 pm
Bill from Glendale says:
Jail for Vito
Aug. 29, 2012, 8:53 pm

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