Niagara Gazette

Local News

October 5, 2012

Harassment suit settled

(Continued)

Niagara Gazette — The plaintiff's lawsuit also contended that, as a result of her complaints, she was prevented from performing work associated with her position. According to court documents, the plaintiff later took a medical leave of absence and was discharged from her duties. 

In its response to the lawsuit, the state denied the female employee's allegations and argued that proper and reasonable steps were taken in response to her concerns. The state also insisted that her complaints were investigated thoroughly and impartially and appropriate actions were taken in response. 

Aronow took a job at the Buffalo Niagara Partnership after leaving the senate majority office. He later accepted a position as a constituent relations aide with state Sen. George Maziarz, R-Newfane. 

On Friday, Alisa Colatarci, chief of staff for Maziarz, said Aronow is no longer employed in the senator's office and hasn't worked there since last November. 

Amy Hope Witryol, the Democratic challenger in this year's race for the 62nd Senate District seat currently held by Maziarz, called Friday for an expanded review of the source and nature of payments involved in the Aronow case, citing what she described as similarities in an ongoing investigation by the New York State Joint Commission on Public Ethics into the state Assembly's handling of allegations of sexual harassment against one of its own - Assemblyman Vito Lopez. 

The state's top watchdog group recently subpoenaed members of the chamber's Ethics and Guidance Committee as part of probe examining how harassment complaints against Lopez were handled by Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, D-Manhattan. That case included a confidential $135,000 settlement with two female Lopez employees who filed complaints. Various reports have indicated that the settlement was authorized by aides from the offices of Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and Comptroller Tom DiNapoli. 

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