Another One Bites The Dust: New York Politician Resigns After Sexual Harassment Accusations
A New York State politician accused of sexually harassing more than half a dozen staffers resigned from the state legislature last night.
Dennis Gabryszak, an Assemblyman from the Buffalo area, was accused in December of sexual harassment by three former female employees who filed notices of claim (the first step before filing a lawsuit). The women, which included his former legislative director, his former communications director, and another communications director who replaced her, claimed Gabryszak asked women to dress as sexy elves and sit on his lap during an office Christmas photo, grabbed one woman and tried to kiss her, invited them to hotel rooms, talked about their “sexual characteristics,” discussed penis tattoos, dragged one of them into a massage parlor, and sent another a video in which he was mimicking receiving a blowjob.
The total number of past and present employees who have complained about the alleged harassment now totals seven.
In a resignation letter, Gabryszak has claimed all allegations against him are false and implied the alleged sexual harassment was the result of “mutual banter”:
At this time, I want the public and my colleagues to know:
• There was no sexual contact between me and any members of my staff.
• There was never a request that sexual contact should occur.
• There was never any intent on my part to sexually harass any member of my staff or to create a hostile work environment.
• In fact, there are allegations that have been made that are demonstrably false.
• 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.
Gabryszak added that the reason for the resignation is the impact these allegations have had on his family. Because his resignation means he is no longer a New York State employee,the ethics committee investigation into his behavior will end, according to The New York Daily News.