UPPER EAST SIDE — State Assemblyman Micah Kellner’s offices will be closed down by the end of the month and all of his staffers yanked after another round of sexual harassment accusations, Speaker Sheldon Silver announced.
Silver warned in a letter on Wednesday that he is implementing further sanctions against Kellner due to additional allegations of sexual harassment and other violations, including trying to interefere with an ethics survey and continuing to employ an intern.
The allegations come on the heels of an earlier round of sexual harassment allegations last year, which led to the Assembly’s ethics committee to recommend that Kellner be removed from leadership positions and be barred from hiring new staff members or working with interns.
In the wake of the original allegations, the Assembly sent an independent investigator to perform a "climate survey" of Kellner’s offices. During the survey, investigators found that Kellner had knowingly continued to have an intern working in his district office despite orders to stop working with interns. He also continued to engage in inappropriate sexual conduct towards two additional female staffers, investigators found.
Kellner said Wednesday that the charges are simply an attempt to interfere with his current appeal of the original findings.
“It is no coincidence that these new and unsubstantiated accusations only came to light after Speaker Silver and the Ethics Committee were handed an overwhelming defeat by his own hand-picked hearing officer, Howard Levine, in the initial decision of May 12th on my appeal,” Kellner said in a statement. “The Ethic Committee is grasping at these new allegations and its secret star chamber report as weapons to prejudice the appeals officer against me while simultaneously trying to get me to drop the appeal.”
Kellner said he plans to appeal these new findings.
"Shelly Silver created the game, he picked the players and set the rules, and now he is furious and embarrassed that he is losing — plain and simple," Kellner stated.
The assembly’s press office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.