Albany, NY- New York Assembly man Dennis Gabryszak resigned from the state legislature after being accused of sexually harassing several women who are current and former staffers. Gabryszak denies the allegations, but resigned to avoid a major scandal.
In his resignation letter, published by the Buffalo News, Grabryszak, a married father of two said, “there was no sexual contact between me and any members of my staff” and “there was never a request that sexual contact should occur.”
“There was mutual banter and exchanges that took place that should not have taken place because it is inappropriate in the workplace even if it does not constitute sexual harassment,” Mr Gabryszak admitted, adding he never intended to create a hostile work environment.
Even though he denied the allegations, he said he was resigning because of the impact the allegations has had on his family.
The allegations against Grabryszak, a Democrat from Cheektowaga, surfaced last month when three women filed formal complaints against. Since the initial complaint, other women have come forward, accusing the randy lawmaker of a number of inappropriate behaviors.
The women allege Grabryszak subjected them to unwanted advances and requests for sex. One of the women accused the lawmaker of sending her a video in which he appeared as though he was receiving oral sex.
The women also claim that he talked about frequenting strip clubs in Albany and even took some of the women to a massage parlor. Another woman claims he asked female staffers to dress up as sexy elves and sit on his lap for an office Christmas picture.
Grabryszak also allegedly told one staffer that he could fire her if she wore clothing he didn’t like and requested another woman wear a bikini to work.
The initial complaint goes on to detail a host of inappropriate behaviors. The staffers attempted to stop the harassment by complaining to Grabsyzak’s Chief of Staff Adam Locher. Locher allegedly told the women he did not want to be involved in sexual harassment complaint and did not act on their allegations.
Although he denied the allegations, he faced immense pressure from various states legislators to resign as the Assembly works to improve their image after finally putting another sexual harassment scandal involving Brooklyn pol Vito Lopez.
New York Mayor Cuomo told WIBTV “He has to be out. Period. End of story.”
Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver who was deeply immersed in the Vito Lopez scandal also called for Grabsyzak’s resignation. Silver’s action was swift in the matter of Grabsyzak, unlike his actions in the Lopez matter when he was accused of trying to cover up sexual harassment allegations by securing a secret settlement with two of Lopez’s accusers.
Johnny Destino, a Niagra Falls-based lawyer representing the women previously told the Buffalo News that at least two other women may come forward with additional allegations against Grabyszak.
In his resignation letter, Grabsyzak said he plans to fight the civil lawsuits that have been filed against him and said he would have no further comment on the situation.