UPPER EAST SIDE — Beleaguered Assemblyman Micah Kellner announced plans to appeal an ethics committee investigation that found he sexually harassed his staffers after Gov. Andrew Cuomo called on him to resign in light of the findings.
"Assemblymember Kellner does not accept the Ethics Committee’s and Speaker Silver's findings. The letter sent by the Committee was factually inaccurate and the investigation was flawed,” Kellner’s spokesman said in a statement on Tuesday.
Kellner — who has been stripped of his position as chairman of the Libraries Committee, banned from from working with interns, and docked of his staff budget as a result of the ethics committee findings — sent a formal notice of appeal to the committee requesting a public hearing on the matter. His spokesman said he hopes Kellner will be given the right to question his accusers and confront the evidence presented against him.
“Perhaps then the real facts surrounding this matter will be heard,” Kellner said in a statement.
Kellner's team did not provide details about how or why they deemed the investigation inaccurate.
Earlier on Tuesday, Gov. Cuomo lashed out at Kellner in a statement, saying his conduct "has no place in New York State government," and demanding, "It is time for him to immediately deny these allegations or resign.”
This is not the first time Cuomo has spoken out against sexual misconduct in the Assembly. He also called for Bronx Assemblyman Vito Lopez to resign in May after a series of sexual harassment allegations surfaced against the veteran poitician.
Speaker Sheldon Silver, who has also had to contend with criticism of turning a blind eye to reports of sexual harassment in his ranks, also responded to Cuomo’s call for Kellner’s resignation.
“I believe both members must seriously and immediately consider whether they can continue to represent their constituents effectively given the steps we have already taken in response to these allegations, including reducing their staff resources,” said Silver, who publicly admonished Kellner earlier in the week.