Thursday, 18 October, 2018

Woman accuses NY state senator of sexual misconduct

Jeff Klein Jeff Klein Karen DeWitt
Russell Knight | 13 January, 2018, 03:20

But the former aide, Erica Vladimer, 30, said in an interview with the Huffington Post that the two left the bar for a cigarette break on April 1, 2015, and that when she turned toward the 57-year-old Senator, he grabbed her head.

"At this point, this is an allegation in which no formal complaint was ever made", Flanagan said.

Klein and Savino both spoke on the conference call Wednesday to deny the allegations.

Klein acknowledged being in the bar with Vladimer, Savino and several IDC staffers on the night in question and even that he and Vladimer stepped outside for a cigarette at one point.

She acknowledged to The Huffington Post that nobody else saw the alleged incident, but told a friend about it later that night.

Ms. Vladimer said she left her job a month after the incident. However, the recent allegation against Klein may embolden anti-IDC progressive groups, and the candidates who wish to take him down.

"It's definitely been one of the hotter topics in Albany for the time being", she said.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo and state Senate Democrats have shied away from taking on IDC members outright for fear of upsetting negotiations to reunite the caucus with its mainline counterpart, and have declined to back primary challengers so far in 2018. "What's the GOP going to do?"

Now, a new report has been released by HuffPost, and it includes accusations of a similar nature against state Sen.

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Klein says he has hired an attorney to review the claim, but is not expecting a lawsuit.

Voters say the accusation is surprising, but many are giving Klein the benefit of the doubt.

"It was very professional", Vladimer said of her time working with Klein. His fellow IDC members have come out in support of Klein, including Sen. He is considered one of the most powerful legislators in NY and one of the small number of top officials who negotiate the state budget behind closed doors each year.

After the state budget was passed, she and other IDC staff members, including Klein and Staten Island State Senator Diane Savino-who were reportedly a couple at the time-went to Justin's, which is now Savoy Taproom, in Albany, the Huffington Post reported.

"So now seeing women speak out, especially these women who feel more comfortable to speak out and say it and show that it is more prevalent, I think it's incredible", Lawrence said. On her Facebook page last October, after the Harvey Weinstein sexual harassment story broke, she posted on her Facebook page: "To the women in my life, and to those I connected with in years past - I promise to find a way to break my silence, and I promise to help you find the strength to break yours, too". She said she felt ashamed that her first thought wasn't that Klein had done something inappropriate, but to worry that his girlfriend might have seen them. Liz Krueger to discuss the incident and whether to come forward.

"I find her to be a honest and credible person who was clearly very shaken about what happened to her that she made the decision to leave state government in Albany because of it", Krueger told HuffPost.

Her friend, who chose to remain anonymous, said, "She was hysterically crying, not able to breathe, couldn't catch her breath".

Vladimer has called on Klein to "step up", adding that if he doesn't, "then he should definitely step down".

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