Brooklyn Assemblyman Won't Testify in Sex Harassment Probe

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    A state assemblyman from Brooklyn is declining to testify in an investigation by a state ethics committee that found he violated the chamber's sexual harassment policy.

    His lawyer says Assemblyman Vito Lopez also doesn't plan to testify in an inquiry into the matter by a special prosecutor.

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

    Gerald Lefcourt told The New York Times he's advised Lopez not to testify in either inquiry because of the criminal investigation.

    Until he knows specifically what the district attorney is looking, Lefcourt's advice is to provide all the information he can short of having Lopez testify.

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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.

    The committee has issued a subpoena for Lopez's testimony. It has declined to comment.

    The prosecutor's office couldn't immediately be reached for comment. It hasn't asked Lopez to testify.

    The Democrat maintains the allegations are untrue.

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