BUFFALO, NY - A fourth woman has filed a notice of claim against New York State Assemblyman Dennis Gabryszak (D-Cheektowaga), saying she was sexually harassed. Caitrin Kennedy, 24, had an attorney file notice on Christmas Eve. This comes just days after three other women filed a similar claim.
Three woman who filed last week, Annalise C. Freling, 28, Kimberly Snickles, 26, and Jamie L. Campbell, 24, claim they were subject to repeated sexual comments directed towards them by the Assemblyman.
WEB EXTRA: Read the Full Notice of Claim
Kennedy still works for the Assemblyman. She's only been working as director of community relations since September.
Her allegations are similar to what we've heard from the three former female aides. Kennedy's allegations are as recent as last week, including actions at a holiday party in New York City, where Gabryszak allegedly suggested that his aide kiss another woman.
There was also allegedly an incident at a luncheon at the Holiday Inn, where the woman says when they passed a hot tub, Gabryszak said he would like to get in the hot tub with her.
She also claims he told her they should attend a couples' massage and suggested they visit strip clubs.
Gabryszak is staying away from his office and reporters. However, he has retained Terrence Connors, a Buffalo defense lawyer. Connors told 2 On Your Side's Claudine Ewing that he informed his client, the Assemblyman, not to speak, even though he wants to be responsive to his constituents. "Let's step back until we get a full understanding of what these allegations are and see if someone puts their name under oath to these allegations."
The attorney representing the three women says copies of the complaints were mailed overnight to the Speaker of the Assembly's offices in Albany and New York City.
Governor Andrew Cuomo told reporters sexual harassment will not be tolerated. "I don't care that it's happened before. It will not be tolerated, if it's true, he's out!"
Michael Whyland, spokesman for Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver said in a written statement, "the allegations contained in the Times-Union against Assemblymember Gabryszak are very disturbing and will immediately be referred to the ethics committee for a full investigation. The Assembly is committed to a safe and respectful work environment for all its employees and we take all allegations very seriously."
Gabryszak represents the 143rd district in New York State, which covers, Cheektowaga, Lancaster (town and village), Depew and Sloan.
Whyland told 2 On Your Side's Claudine Ewing that this case will be referred to the ethics committee and it is likely an outside investigator will be hired for his case.
Erie County Democratic Chairman Jeremy Zellner is calling for Gabryszak to resign. Zellner issued this statement Friday:
Today's troubling accusations about Assembly member Dennis Gabryszak are very serious. If these allegations are even close to being true, the Assembly member should resign immediately and spare the community from further embarrassment.
The people of the 143rd Assembly District deserve representation that reflects the values of our community and this behavior does not.
There is no place for this type of conduct. The work place should be a safe and respectful environment for employees.
"This type of behavior is exactly what turns people away from politics and government and it needs to stop. This conduct is unacceptable and will not be tolerated by our party," said Chairman Zellner.
These disturbing allegations will be taken directly to the Assembly ethics committee for a full investigation.
On Saturday, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo shared a similar opinion while speaking in Buffalo. Watch the video of him on this page.
Gabryszak was elected to the Assembly in 2006. He previously served as Town Supervisor for the Town of Cheektowaga.
Gabryszak, 60, is married with two adult children.