Niagara Gazette

Local News

October 5, 2012

Harassment suit settled

Niagara Gazette — A settlement has been reached in a lawsuit involving a former Niagara County lawmaker who was accused of sexual harassment while working for the New York State Senate Majority several years ago. 

Documents on file with the New York State Supreme Court in Buffalo show a former administrative aide for the senate majority will receive $75,000 as part of the settlement in her 2009 sexual harassment lawsuit against Glenn Aronow, a former state senate staffer who represented the city of Lockport in the county legislature for two terms before resigning in 2006. 

Court documents show the plaintiff's attorney, Steve Cohen, will receive an additional $15,000, bringing the total state cost for the settlement to $90,000. 

According to the agreement filed with the Erie County Clerk's Office on Monday, the defendants in the case, including Aronow, admitted no wrongdoing but approved the settlement for "the convenience of all parties." 

The settlement agreement was signed by the plaintiffs' attorney, Steven Cohen of Amherst, Aronow's lawyer, Lisa Poch from the Hamburg firm Chiacchia & Fleming, and Kathleen Kaczor, an assistant from state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman's office who represented the state and the senate majority, both of which were also named as defendants in the lawsuit. 

Neither Aronow nor Poch could not be reached for comment Friday. 

In documents filed with the court, the female plaintiff accused Aronow of subjecting her to a "daily campaign of sexual harassment" starting in October 2007 when they worked together at a state senate office in Buffalo. In her lawsuit, the plaintiff alleged that the inappropriate conduct involved "sexually orientated physical contact, gestures, threats and unwanted exposure to pornographic materials." 

The plaintiff also sued the state and the senate majority, charging that superiors inside the senate office in Buffalo should have done more to discipline Aronow. In her court papers, the plaintiff alleged that at one point she was told Aronow would be removed from the office, only to be "confronted" by him when she returned to work.

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