EAST WILLIAMSBURG — Vito Lopez, the scandal-plagued former assemblyman who is now running for City Council, unexpectedly canceled a rare public appearance on the campaign trail Thursday at the nonprofit he founded.
Lopez — who resigned from the Legislature this summer amidst accusations that he sexually harassed his female employees — has made few appearances on his campaign trail for City Council, but he was scheduled to speak at Ridgewood Bushwick Senior Citizens Council on Thursday, staff confirmed.
Lopez canceled the event but did not provide a reason for his cancellation, Ridgewood Bushwick's director said. Representatives for Lopez did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
But a small group of protesters, along with some seniors who live at the facility, said Lopez would have been unwelcome at the center.
"We don't condone corrupt people," said Ridgewood Bushwick resident Candido Erasto, noting that he'd lived at the center for about 20 years but that he was still in opposition to Lopez.
And Rafael Diaz, 24, who decried Lopez for assaulting "women's rights," said more protesters would have gathered had Lopez's slated appearance been advertised more widely.
"I just found out he was coming this morning...We're trying to protest against the not-so-humane Vito Lopez," said Diaz, speculating that Lopez had canceled his appearance due to potential demonstrations. "There may have been swirls there would be protests here."