Assembly Member Kellner is the Latest to Face Complaints of Sexual Harassment
A New York Times article revealed evidence of sexual harassment by New York State Assembly member Micah Kellner of a young female staff member in 2009. There are also allegations of harassment against a second employee two years later.
The National Organization for Women – New York City is calling on the Assembly to take immediate action to investigate these claims and how they were handled. This includes swift follow-through on the Speaker’s promise to create an independent investigative body to handle all future complaints. NOW-NYC also urges the newly created task force on sexual harassment to incorporate a complete review of this specific case and its mishandling into its purview.
Kellner is the second Assembly Member in recent months to be facing harassment allegations. In May, Assembly member Vito Lopez was found by both the Joint Commission on Public Ethics and special prosecutor, Staten Island District Attorney Dan Donovan, to have sexually harassed multiple women staffers. The Assembly member stepped down under pressure from Silver and his Assembly colleagues. Despite his egregious track-record, Lopez is pursuing a City Council seat in Brooklyn/Queens’ District 34.
NOW-NYC President, Sonia Ossorio, says, “These new revelations of sexual harassment make it absolutely clear that the Assembly cannot police itself. Speaker Sheldon Silver has promised zero tolerance in his most recent changes to Assembly policy on sexual harassment, and in this vein, he must act with immediacy and urgency to fully address the complaints against Kellner and any additional claims made by Assembly staff. As a leader, we urge that Silver take a closer look at what he needs to do to effectively eradicate this very persistent and entirely unacceptable culture of sexual harassment that has become entrenched in our State Assembly. It’s not acceptable that complaints reported to his office are not being properly pursued. Just how many more cases are going to have to come out before we put an end to it? Enough is enough.”