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Area legislators react to Silver's role in scandal

WBFO News photo

Albany's latest sex scandal is chipping away at the position of Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, one of the legendary "three men in a room."

The speaker is now saying it was a mistake to pay $103,000 secretly to settle sexual harassment claims against Assemblyman Vito Lopez.

"It's public money," said Republican Assemblyman Raymond Walter  of Clarence. 

"These payoffs shouldn't have been made and they certainly shouldn't have been made in secret without anybody knowing it.

Walter, who served with Lopez one the Housing Committee, said, "Mr. Lopez should resign right away."

As for Silver, Walter says he isn't sure anything will be done since the Speaker controls the Assembly and everything it does.

WBFO and AM970 News also sought reaction from Lewiston Assemblyman John Ceretto.

"From what I'm reading, this behavior is not right. It should be looked into," Ceretto said.

"Nothing should be done behind closed doors. It should be open and transparent."

Mike Desmond is one of Western New York’s most experienced reporters, having spent nearly a half-century covering the region for newspapers, television stations and public radio. He has been with WBFO and its predecessor, WNED-AM, since 1988. As a reporter for WBFO, he has covered literally thousands of stories involving education, science, business, the environment and many other issues. Mike has been a long-time theater reviewer for a variety of publications and was formerly a part-time reporter for The New York Times.