Posted by on October 20, 2014

Demands Speaker Return Taxpayer Dollars

Speaking today from the Cortland County Woman’s Coalition “Meet Your NYS Legislative Candidates” event, Assemblyman Gary Finch expressed outrage regarding a recent report that embattled Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver has used more than $700,000 in taxpayer funds to secure private legal counsel for himself and disgraced former Assemblyman Vito Lopez.

Silver is attempting to protect himself from allegations that he covered up Lopez’s sexual abuse of two staffers. The taxpayer funds are also financing Lopez’s court fees. Finch is urging Speaker Silver to immediately return this money to taxpayers. Finch doesn’t think hardworking New Yorkers should be mandated to pay for defense of such perverted behavior against their will.

“It’s disgusting that Sheldon Silver is using our hard-earned tax dollars to defend himself in court following his attempted cover-up of sexual harassment in the state capitol,” said Finch. “I am calling on Speaker Silver to return the $700,000 and pay for his own legal fees. ”

Finch then challenged his opponent, the beneficiary of hundreds of thousands of dollars in campaign contributions from Silver’s coffers, to hold the Speaker to her “zero tolerance” standard on public corruption.

“It is hypocritical to campaign on a platform of public ethics reform while you’re being bankrolled by the most corrupt politician in Albany,” said Finch. “I urge my opponent to demand that Silver return the $700,000 to taxpayers and refuse his campaign cash in the future,” Finch added.

“News like this reinforces why our election is so important. Our communities should not be represented by anyone with financial ties to Sheldon Silver. I will continue to be an independent voice for Central New York families, and I’ll continue to promote the need for New York State to adopt the nation’s strongest ethics laws,” he concluded.

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