Sexual harassment has been so prevalent for New York lawmakers in recent years that Governor Andrew Cuomo and the state’s Joint Commission on Public Ethics have unveiled a new hotline for state employees. Workers who spot incidents of corruption, including sexual harassment, improperly accepting gifts, or raw abuses of power, are urged to call 1-800-87-ETHICS.
Via the Post Star:
The commission in charge of regulating ethics and lobbying in New York government has created a tip line and website for people to report alleged violations by state officials and lobbyists.
The Joint Commission on Public Ethics launched the website and phone line on Monday. Callers can dial 1-800-87-ETHICS to report violations, including improper gifts, conflicts of interest, nepotism, abuse of power and sexual harassment.
Staffers from the investigation division of the commission will be operating the tip line during business hours.
The previous number used for reporting misconduct in the Assembly has proven unresponsive.
Via the Daily News:
Fed up with rampant sexual harassment that has plagued the Assembly, Gov. Cuomo proposed the new complaint hotline for state employees. The state budget adopted in March set aside $200,000 for the effort.
In at least three cases involving the Assembly, victims or someone acting on their behalf approached their immediate supervisors or chamber officials without action being taken.
In one case, a woman who says she was sexually harassed by now former Buffalo-area Democratic Assemblyman Dennis Gabryszak said she wanted to report the problem to Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver but felt it would be pointless after he was accused of covering up allegations against then-Assemblyman Vito Lopez (D-Brooklyn).
Republican gubernatorial candidate Rob Astorino identified the state of things in Albany as “a cesspool of corruption” and said he would not allow his daughter to work in the legislature.
Why would anyone not want their daughters to work in the legislature? How about multiple instances of overt sexual harassment? Harassment so prevalent that one reporter called the Capitol “the most sexually abusive workplace in the nation.”
A local college professor has even floated a proposal to start a Museum of Corruption in Albany that would ask for bribes as opposed to admission fees and allow visitors to wear a wire and trick their friends into owning up to a crime. Just like the real lawmakers in New York.
Cross-posted at the Mental Recession