ALBANY — A former staffer has accused Bronx state Sen. Jeffrey Klein of forcibly kissing her — a cost the highly effective pol vehemently denied.
The girl, Erica Vladimer, informed HuffPost that Klein, who heads a breakaway group of eight Senate Democrats, “shoved his tongue” down her throat exterior an Albany bar on April 1, 2015, as lawmakers and employees celebrated completion of the state finances.
“I pulled away and I mentioned, ‘Senator, completely not.’” she informed the HuffPost. “And he checked out me and mentioned, with this silly little grin on his face, ‘What? What?’ Like he was being coy, virtually making an attempt to flirt and play a sport.”
Vladimer, who labored for Klein’s Unbiased Democratic Convention, left for a brand new job a couple of month later. She by no means filed a proper criticism.
In a convention name with reporters shortly earlier than the story was printed, Klein denied any inappropriate habits. “I wish to be crystal clear, this alleged incident by no means occurred,” he mentioned.
He mentioned after being contacted by the HuffPost final Thursday, he an lawyer who interviewed lawmakers and employees who have been on the bar the night time of the alleged incident and located nobody who noticed Klein kiss the girl.
A kind of folks interviewed was Klein’s longtime girlfriend and fellow Sen. Diane Savino (D-Staten Island).
Savino, who was on the convention name with Klein, insisted the incident by no means occurred.
Politicians accused of sexual harassment or assault
“These of you who know me know I’d not have remained silent,” the tough-talking Savino mentioned. “There would have been an incident that night time.”
Klein’s lawyer in a letter outlining his findings mentioned the girl cited the previous staffer’s resignation letter that mentioned she was “extraordinarily grateful for the chance you offered me to work for the Unbiased Democratic Convention. The abilities and data I gained as a coverage analyst and counsel will likely be invaluable as I transfer ahead. I’ll miss everybody, however I do know I’ve made a great determination. I want you and the complete convention continued success. Thanks on your persistence and cooperation with me throughout this time.”
Vladimer informed the HuffPost that she’s not on the lookout for Klein to resign, however as an alternative use the incident to enhance himself.
“I feel Senator Klein must step up,” she mentioned. “As a pacesetter of a really highly effective convention within the New York state legislature, he has the flexibility to effectuate change. Now we have the Senate Dems who put out legislative packages on sexual harassment, and the governor saying he’s going to debate proposals. What’s the IDC going to do? What’s the GOP going to do?”