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City Council ethics panel votes to probe sexual misconduct allegation

The scrutinized council member is Andy King, a Bronx Democrat, according to a source familiar with the matter.

City Council's Standards and Ethics Committee met behind

City Council's Standards and Ethics Committee met behind closed doors about a sexual misconduct allegation which a source says concerns Bronx council member Andy King. Photo Credit: Craig Ruttle

A New York City Council ethics panel voted behind closed doors Friday to probe allegations of a fellow council member’s misconduct.

The chairman of the Standards and Ethics Committee, which deliberated in executive session for about an hour, would not publicly identify the council member.

But, according to a source familiar with the matter, the scrutinized council member is Andy King, a Bronx Democrat, and he is being probed over inappropriate remarks he allegedly made to a council staffer.

What King supposedly said, when the remarks were made and other details of the allegation have not been disclosed, and council spokeswoman Robin Levine would confirm only that the hearing had been convened.

King could not be reached for comment.

Committee chairman Alan Maisel, a Brooklyn Democratic councilman, introduced a motion at Friday’s hearing that the investigation and deliberations remain confidential. The committee approved the motion.

The committee is meeting for the first time under the council’s current leadership, which came into office in 2014, to address harassment allegations. It last met in the August to consider the case of former Councilman Ruben Wills, a Queens Democrat who is serving a six-year prison sentence for stealing thousands in public funds meant for charity and campaign expenses.

The maximum punishment the council can mete out is expulsion. It can also levy fines and order other sanctions.

The last council member to be disciplined for sexually inappropriate conduct was Councilman Allan W. Jennings Jr., who was found in 2005 to have harassed two women subordinates. He was fined $5,000 and ordered to attend sensitivity training and anger management coaching. He was also stripped of committee assignments and censured.

The inquiry concluded that Jennings found that he had demanded that one aide clean his home and gave another a pornographic gift, as well as asked them out on dates, made lewd comments and touched them inappropriately, according to news accounts.

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