By Tom Precious
Albany -- Vito Lopez is no longer a member of the Assembly as of 9 am today. He resigned over the weekend rather than face an expulsion vote by colleagues over allegations he sexually harassed numerous female members of his staff.
Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, facing calls for his ouster over his handling of the Lopez affair, meets behind closed doors later this afternoon with his fellow Democrats for the first time since two reports were issued last week by a special prosecutor and a state ethics agency. While pressure is coming from outside forces to get Silver to quit as leader, he appears, for now, to have the support of his conference, including female legislators who say Silver already apologized for his handling of complaints brought last year by female staffers against Lopez.
Here is a photo of the desk of the once mighty Lopez, who was also Brooklyn Democratic Party chairman, taken in the Assembly chamber taken at 9am. Apparently no rush to get his name off what was his assigned seat.