Vito Lopez to Resign From Assembly, Still Running For City Council

Vito Lopez. (Photo: NYS Assembly)

Vito Lopez. (Photo: NYS Assembly)

Disgraced Assemblyman Vito Lopez just announced that he will resign from the Assembly at the end of the legislative session–but still intends to run for City Council.

The announcement comes in the wake of a damning report released this week outlining his alleged sexual harassment of numerous young women who worked for him and a day after Assembly Speaker Shelly Silver said he would introduce a resolution seeking his expulsion.

“As of June 20, 2013, the last day of the session, I resign my position,” My Lopez said in his statement, which contains no hint of remorse or reference to the efforts to force him out.

“I expect to run a vigorous campaign on the issues facing the citizens of my community and hope to continue to serve them as a member of the City Council,” he continued. “I believe that the voters of the community should decide who should represent them.”

Here’s the full statement released by his office:

I am gratified that Staten Island District Attorney Dan Donovan has concluded, after an exhaustive investigation, that there is no basis for bringing criminal charges against me. I have maintained my innocence throughout this matter and I believe no criminal investigation should ever have been conducted.

I have made no secret that I intend to run for New York City Council in November, which requires me to resign my current term. Nevertheless, because the citizens of my district voted me back into office last November  by an overwhelming majority, I feel obligated to serve out this session of the Assembly. I therefore announce that as of June 20, 2013, the last day of the session, I resign my position.

I expect to run a vigorous campaign on the issues facing the citizens of my community and hope to continue to serve them as a member of the City Council. I believe that the voters of the community should decide who should represent them.

Update (12:20 p.m):

June 20 is not soon enough for Mr. Silver, whose office said he will move forward with his efforts to expel Mr. Lopez before the end of the session.

“Assemblymember Lopez should no longer be in public office. We will move forward with our resolution on Monday,” his spokesman said in a statement.

Update (12:36 p.m):

Gov. Andrew Cuomo called on Mr. Lopez to resign immediately and said that if he doesn’t, he should be expelled.

“As I said yesterday, there should be a zero tolerance policy when it comes to sexual harassment and we must now send a clear message that this behavior is not tolerated,” he said in a statement. “Vito Lopez should not spend another day in office, let alone a whole month. He should resign effective immediately and if he does not, he must be expelled. ”