New York Assemblyman Vito Lopez Allegedly Ogled 14-Year-Old Intern, the Daughter of a Brooklyn Judge

| by Sarah Fruchtnicht
Vito Lopez Leers at Teen InternVito Lopez Leers at Teen Intern

New York State Assemblyman Vito J. Lopez has been accused of ogling a teen intern and telling his staffer, Chloe Rivera, that she should dress “sexy” like the 14-year old intern.

Both Rivera and her mother called 911 last summer, after witnessing the 71-year-old Brooklyn assemblyman ogling the 14-year-old intern, who is the daughter of Brooklyn Judge Pamela Fisher.

Rivera’s call to police on July 16, 2012, was logged as a “sexual harassment/child abuse” complaint. “(Lopez) was telling Chloe that he liked the way this girl was dressed and she was dressed in a very sexy way,” a source with knowledge of the call told NY Daily News. “He wanted Chloe to dress like the intern.”

At the time, police declined to file charges against Lopez. Then Rivera and fellow staffer Victoria Burhans quit their jobs and filed a complaint with the Assembly ethics committee, actions that would eventually lead to the powerful assemblyman’s downfall.

Lopez was formerly chairman of the Democratic Party of Kings County. He was forced to step down from his position in August amid sexual harassment claims from Rivera and Burhans. Initially he refused to quit when the allegations arose that he fondled and verbally harassed the staffers, then the New York Times reported Speaker Sheldon Silver had authorized a secret payment of $103,080 earlier in the summer to settle previous allegations against Lopez made by two other women. As numerous state and city officials called for him to step down Lopez finally folded under pressure.

He was re-elected to the Assembly in November, but is now the subject of a criminal probe. Rivera claims Lopez pointed to a 14-year-old girl and told her she should “dress like that intern” and “go shopping for sexier clothes.”

According to police, Lopez was only accused of “leering at” the teen intern last summer, not harassment. The girl’s mother, Judge Pamela Fisher, allegedly helped Lopez get on the bench.

When cops from the 90th Precinct interviewed Rivera and the 14-year-old girl, the intern said she’d only been working for Lopez for six days and that she had not heard him say anything inappropriate.

Special victims detectives investigated the claims, but found “ nothing of a criminal nature” took place.

Rivera filed her complained against Lopez that same month.

Source: NY Daily News