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Cuomo calls allegations against assemblymen 'repugnant'

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo (Nov. 28, 2012)

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo (Nov. 28, 2012) Photo Credit: Howard Schnapp

ALBANY -- Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo said Tuesday two state assemblymen accused of sexual harassment must deny the charges or resign. If they don't, Cuomo said the Assembly should expel them.

In an unusually harsh statement, Cuomo called the accusations "repugnant" and said "enough is enough. It's a new year, let's start with a clean slate."

Cuomo referred to Assembs. Micah Kellner (D-Manhattan) and Dennis Gabryszak (D-Cheektowaga).

The Assembly Ethics and Guidance Committee on Monday found Kellner violated the chamber's sexual harassment policy, but didn't recommend that Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver try to expel Kellner.

"This type of behavior is not to be tolerated," Silver (D-Manhattan) said Monday. "We as lawmakers have a special duty to ensure that we uphold the highest of ethical standards."

Gabryszak is being sued by female aides over claims of sexual harassment. Silver has taken away Gabryszak's interns while Assembly officials investigate.

"This pattern of behavior is repugnant by every standard and directly contradicts the policies the Assembly has advanced for the last 20 years," Cuomo said yesterday.

Kellner and Gabryszak didn't respond to requests for comment.

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