BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP & WXXI News) —A Buffalo-area Assemblyman accused of sexually harassing female staffers says he will retire while continuing to defend himself against allegations he calls false.
Dennis Gabryszak has been accused by seven former and current employees in recent legal filings of making unwanted advances and other abusive behavior. It's the latest in a string of legislative sex harassment cases and public corruption scandals in Albany in recent years.
The 62-year-old lawmaker announced his retirement Sunday through his lawyer without giving a retirement date.
In recent notices of claim, Gabryszak is accused of grabbing one woman and trying to kiss her and of telling another during a 2012 event that, "You're so hot, you know what I want to do with you." The notices are the first step toward a lawsuit.
Governor Cuomo issued this statement:
"Following the latest reports of horrific behavior in the Assembly against Assemblymember Gabryszak, I asked him to either deny the allegations or resign immediately. Today, he has given us his answer. Our representatives in elected office can and should be held to a higher standard -- especially at a time when the Legislature's ethics are being questioned and the confidence of their constituents being undermined. This kind of alleged behavior has no place in New York State government or any other office in society. My thoughts are with the alleged victims and Mr. Gabrysak's family during this difficult time."