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Assembly Speaker Silver Receives Vito Lopez's Resignation Letter

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TWC News: Assembly Speaker Silver Receives Vito Lopez's Resignation Letter
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Two days before the state Assembly was to begin proceedings to expel Assemblyman Vito Lopez, the Brooklyn lawmaker sent a resignation letter on Saturday to Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver.

In the one-sentence letter, Lopez says he would step down from the Assembly seat he has held for 28 years at 9 a.m. Monday.

Lopez, who was once the powerful leader of the Brooklyn Democratic Party, came under fire this week when special prosecutor Dan Donovan and a state ethics group released reports on the assemblyman's alleged inappropriate sexual conduct with female staffers.

While the special prosecutor decided to not press charges, the ethics group said that Lopez broke the state Public Officers Law.

On Friday, Lopez had said he would resign on June 20, at the end of the legislative session, to concentrate on a run for City Council.

When Silver pledged to convene the assembly ethics committee to start to expel Lopez, the Brooklyn assemblyman reportedly made the decision to quit first.

Governor Andrew Cuomo's communication director said in a statement Saturday, "As the governor said, one month was unacceptable as was one more day. Today's immediate resignation is the best end to this ugly chapter. Now we must do everything we can to ensure this type of behavior is never tolerated or allowed to occur again."

NY1 reached out to Lopez's spokesperson on Saturday to comment on whether the outgoing assemblyman will continue to run for a council seat.

So far, Lopez has raised $40,000 for that campaign.

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