BUFFALO, NY - One day after a scathing ethics report was released about a local lawmaker, Assemblywoman Angela Wozniak says she still plans to run for re-election this fall.
The report states Wozniak violated policy by retaliating against a male staffer she was having an affair with. Also, her legal team disputes some of the findings.
"I promise to make restoring trust and raising expectations in elected officials the hallmark of my service in Albany," that's what then-candidate for Assembly Angela Wozniak said nearly two years ago, as she geared up for her election run.
"She clearly failed to keep that promise and obviously she must be a big disappointment to her constituents," said John Kaehny, the executive director of Reinvent Albany, a good government group.
On Wednesday, the state assembly released an ethics report criticizing Wozniak for having an affair with a male staffer in her office last year -- saying she showed "incredibly poor judgment" and acted in a manner "unbecoming" of a lawmaker.
The report says Wozniak retaliated against the staffer, after their relationship was over, by "prohibiting (him) from working in the district office or attending community meetings while she was present."
A statement released Thursday by Wozniak's attorney, Steven Cohen says "physically distancing herself from her accuser was at the advice and instruction of her legal counsel." Cohen also disputes that he revealed the victim's name, saying members of the media already knew who the accuser was. Still, penalties against Wozniak were imposed -- they include retaliation prevention training.
REPORTER: Do you think that she should resign?
"I'm not calling on anybody to resign, I don't think she's violated the law, she had a situation and I think she needs to handle it within her family," said Nick Langworthy, the chairman of the Erie County Republican Committee.
Republicans and Conservatives need to decide whether they'll support Wozniak in her fall re-election campaign. In the 2014 election, she was on the ballot on both the Republican and Conservative lines.
"I haven't had any discussions with members of our party or anything to talk about future candidacies," Langworthy said.
"She's got to figure out as she goes throughout her district and talks to her constituents and does her job, does she have the faith of her constituents?" Langworthy said, "this is a distraction and she needs to put this distraction in her rear view mirror."
Initially the allegation against Wozniak was for sexual harassment, but the ethics committee says it couldn't find enough evidence of this. The statement from Wozniak's attorney says they're pleased she was cleared by the committee of the accusation.
Some of her colleagues issued statements.
Assmeblywoman Jane Corwin said: "While the actions of Assemblywoman Wozniak are disappointing and show a lack of judgment, I expect that the Assemblywoman will continue to serve her community to the best of her ability and the voters of her district will ultimately decide if her job performance is acceptable."
Minority leader Brian Kolb said: “The Assembly Ethics Committee has completed its investigation and reached a final determination in the matter involving Assemblywoman Angela Wozniak. I accept the committee’s recommendations. The committee’s work is bipartisan and confidential; therefore, I am not privy to specific details or information that was presented. In this case, the process was fair and effective. I hope all parties can move forward now that the matter has been brought to a conclusion.”