Brooklyn DA Asks for Special Prosecutor to Probe Assembly Member Vito Lopez

By Meredith Hoffman on August 31, 2012 1:53pm | Updated on August 31, 2012 2:56pm

WILLIAMSBURG — The Brooklyn District Attorney has requested the appointment of a special prosecutor to investigate Assembly Member Vito Lopez, who has been accused of sexually harassing his interns and now plans to step down as Brooklyn Democratic leader.

The Brooklyn DA Charles Hynes, who sought Lopez's support for his re-election in 2009, said Friday that he would not do his own investigation of Lopez since he had ties to the politician.

"I have been engaged in preliminary discussions seeking endorsement of my 2013 candidacy," he said of his talks with Lopez. "As a result, I believe that were I and my assistants to conduct the preliminary inquiry and, if called for, any ensuing investigation, there is a risk that it may create the appearance of impropriety."

Lopez, 71, a Brooklyn native who has been in the New York State Assembly since 1984, has denied the charges of sexual harassment.

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