Assemblywoman admonished over sexual harassment allegation

AP News
Posted: Mar 09, 2016 9:56 PM
Assemblywoman admonished over sexual harassment allegation

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — A New York assemblywoman has been disciplined and banned from hiring interns following allegations she sexually harassed a top staffer with whom she was having an affair.

Republican Angela Wozniak will receive a formal letter of admonition stating she violated Assembly rules on sexual harassment. She won't be allowed to hire interns and must complete sexual harassment prevention training, Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie announced Wednesday.

Wozniak, of the Buffalo suburb of Cheektowaga, was elected in 2014 to succeed Democrat Dennis Gabryszak. He resigned amid sexual harassment allegations.

The Assembly Ethics Committee determined that Wozniak, 28, and her male director of legislation entered into a consensual sexual relationship last year that ended after Wozniak told her husband about the affair.

The committee found that Wozniak then tried to retaliate against the employee and tarnish his reputation when he filed a complaint.

"Wozniak exercised incredibly poor judgment in engaging in a sexual relationship with a member of her staff," the committee said in a report.

Heastie said efforts will be made to find the staffer a new job, but his compensation will continue to come from Wozniak's office budget for 11 months.

Wozniak and her attorney didn't respond to messages seeking comment Wednesday.

Gabryszak resigned after being accused of sexually harassing female staffers by making unwanted advances, asking them to accompany him to strip clubs and sending video of himself apparently engaged in a sexual act.

At the time, he acknowledged engaging in inappropriate "banter" but said it didn't constitute harassment.