By Joseph Spector, Gannett Albany Bureau
The state Assembly has entered into an $80,000 contract with an Albany law firm to develop its new sexual harassment policy after a series of scandals.
It's the latest spending by the Democratic-led Assembly after it agreed to toughen its stance after three lawmakers were accused of sexually harassing young, female aides in recent years.
Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli announced today that he approved the contract with Roemer Wallens Gold & Mineaux LLP. The firm's founder is James Roemer, who has worked with local and state governments for decades.
The money will go to "investigations pursuant to the Assembly sexual harassment/retaliation policy."
In February, the Assembly entered into two contracts worth $205,000 for an outside firm, Rossein Associates, to handle sexual-harassment cases in the chamber.
Assemblymen Vito Lopez, D-Brooklyn, and Dennis Gabryszak, D-Cheektowaga, Erie County, resigned because of the allegations. Assemblyman Micah Kellner, D-Manhattan, is fighting the charges against him.
In another contract Monday, the state's now-defunct Moreland Commission was approved for a $175,000 contract to to K2 Intelligence LLC for "investigative and analytical services under contract," DiNapoli said.
The Manhattan-based firm touted its work in December on its website.