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Democratic assemblyman calls on Silver to resign

By Associated Press

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - A published report says a member of the Assembly's Democratic conference is calling on Speaker Sheldon Silver to resign over his role in a sexual harassment scandal.

Assemblyman Michael Kearns tells The Buffalo News he'll quit the Democratic conference that rules the chamber because Silver mishandled sexual harassment claims against Vito Lopez, a longtime assemblyman from Brooklyn.

Silver crafted a $103,000 secret settlement last year to end the first accusations against Lopez by female staff members. That settlement avoided the Assembly's own policies for handling sexual harassment cases through a committee.

A special prosecutor found Silver was more concerned with limiting political damage than disciplining Lopez.

Kearns, a West Seneca Democrat, won election on the Republican line and was a harsh Silver critic.

Silver's office had no immediate comment.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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