BUFFALO, NY - New York State Assemblyman Dennis Gabryszak (D-143rd District) has yet to make any public comment, regarding allegations of sexual harassment against him, which surfaced almost a week ago.
One current and three former female employees made the claims.
A political consultant, who is also a veteran of the assembly, thinks Gabryszak may be making a mistake by staying completely silent.
Since the allegations broke, everyone from Erie County Democratic Chairman Jeremy Zellner, to NYS Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, all the way on up to Governor Andrew Cuomo have said that, if the allegations are true, Gabryszak's days as an elected official should end.
About the only one not saying anything is Gabryszak.
He's yet to comment publicly, no one would answer the door when we paid a visit to his home Thursday, and at his local assembly office, a snow covered newspaper remained in a bag outside a locked door to an office where the lights remained dark.
Garbyszak hasn't returned our numerous phone calls….and in fact the lawyer he's now retained indicated to us we shouldn't expect him to
"I've told him Dennis, 'I know you want to speak to your constituents, but hold off'," Attorney Terrence Connors told WGRZ on Tuesday.
"To not to respond, I think, is one of the worst things you could be doing at this point," said retired NYS Assemblyman Paul Tokasz, who is now a political analyst and consultant.
"I understand his attorney telling him not to speak out but I think the constituency kind of deserves a little bit more than that," Tokasz said.
Tokasz suggested that Gabryszak should consider issuing at least a written statement, even if it doesn't speak to the specific allegations, or involve answering questions from reporters.
"The constituency demands something of their elected officials and I think some sort of statement would be appropriate," he said.
The constituency Tokasz speaks of is one that is quite familiar to him, having served the same district in assembly until he retired and Gabryszak was elected to replace him several years ago.
"Those (district) characteristics are really family oriented and I think this kind of allegation really flies in the face of that…so I think Dennis Gabryszak needs to put something forward," said Tokasz, who also noted that it is difficult to be an effective representative of the people if you are in some sort of self-imposed seclusion.
"It's a public office and you have to be in the public…and I think what's going on now is the opposite of that and I think it just gives, if you will, the chatter class even more time to kind of analyze in their own minds what they think is going on," he said.
On Friday, we spoke to Erie County Democratic Chairman Jeremy Zellner to get his views on the matter, which you can hear in the attached video.