Albany Prosecutor's Office to Investigate Assemblyman Vito Lopez

Lopez was censured by the Assembly Aug. 24 following accusations of sexual harassment by women staffers

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    The Albany County district attorney is now joining a special prosecutor who is investigating a sexual harassment case in the Assembly, a person familiar with the probe tells The Associated Press.

    The person spoke on the condition of anonymity because the addition of DA David Soares' office to the effort led by Staten Island District Attorney Dan Donovan hasn't yet been announced.

    Donovan is examining the case of Democratic Brooklyn Assemblyman Vito Lopez, who was censured by the Assembly Aug. 24 following accusations of sexual harassment by women staffers.

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    On Monday, Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver said he asked the embattled politician to resign. Andrew Siff reports.

    Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver agreed to a secret $103,000 settlement in July using public money to settle two other accusers' claims against Lopez.

    Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes worked politically with Lopez so he asked Donovan, a Republican, to lead the investigation.

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    But the 71-year-old says he'll continue to serve in the Assembly seat he's held for 28 years, a post that pays a salary as well as his pension. Meanwhile, Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver reportedly signed off on a secret payment to settle a harassment charge. News 4's Chief Investigative Reporter Jonathan Dienst reports.

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