ALBANY, N.Y. — The Latest on sexual harassment allegations made against a New York state senator by a former staffer (all times local):
An ex-aide to Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo says she’ll enter a primary against the leader of breakaway Democrats in the state Senate after a former staffer accused the lawmaker of forcibly kissing the staffer outside an Albany bar.
“His #timesup. I’m running against him,” Alessandra Biaggi posted on Twitter on Thursday, a day after the allegations emerged against Sen. Jeff Klein, whose district includes parts of the Bronx and Westchester County.
Erica Vladimer has said Klein forcibly kissed her outside the bar in 2015. Klein has denied the allegations.
Biaggi served as a counsel in Cuomo’s office. Before that she worked on Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign. Biaggi was considering a run for Klein’s seat before news of the sexual harassment allegations broke late Wednesday afternoon.
The leader of the state Senate’s mainline Democrats says allegations that a fellow Democratic senator forcibly kissed a former staffer are “extremely disturbing.”
Senate Democratic Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins, of Yonkers, says in a statement Thursday that an “immediate independent investigation” needs to be started into the allegations against Sen. Jeff Klein, of the Bronx.
In a story first reported Wednesday by The Huffington Post, Erica Vladimer said Klein forcibly kissed her outside an Albany bar in the spring of 2015.
Klein denied her allegations during a conference call with reporters held just before the story was posted. The 57-year-old leads the Independent Democratic Conference, a faction that broke ranks with mainline Democrats to give Republicans control of the chamber.
Klein said he welcomes an investigation into the alleged incident.