Days after a nearly unanimous vote removed him from the New York City Council, former council member Andy King admits no wrongdoing despite being found guilty in three ethics investigations.
On Monday, Bronx lawmaker Andy King became the first New York City council member ever to be expelled. That same day, King filed a lawsuit in federal court in Manhattan against the City Council claiming racial discrimination.
"If I did something really truly wrong, I will own it up but don't make up something, create a scenario around it, and then move an agenda and destroy a man, his family, his children," King told News 4.
Sitting down for an exclusive one-on-one interview in the Bronx this week, King defends himself from what he calls, without evidence, a political hit job. The New York City Council however, called it justified.
"Councilmember King's behavior is unfixable and that if we do not take the action recommended by the committee we are likely to be back here again in a few months," Council Speaker Corey Johnson said at Monday's vote.
Ethics investigations spanning several years found King harassed female staffers, misused council funds, created a hostile workplace and circumvented a monitor placed in his office.
King claims the punishment doesn't fit the alleged crime, pointing to Councilman Barry Grodenchik who admitted to sexually harassing a female staffer for over a year but still holds his position.
"Power and politics decided I wasn't playing fair in the sandbox," King said.
Advocates of sexual harassment victims say the system actually protected King and others.
"All the way from the federal government in the White House down to city council where there are members, elected officials, appointed officials who are empowered and never held accountable," said Erica Vladimer, co-founder of the Sexual Harassment Working Group.
"City council needs to hold public hearings, allow the victim to come forward and speak. This should not be an internal issue because then it becomes political. This is about workplace protection and safety, this is about human rights," she said.
King's seat sits empty until a special election can be held to fill the council position.