After the initial flurry, Mr. Silver appears to have blunted any serious threat to his power from this scandal.
Mr. Silver, a 69-year-old lawyer from Manhattan, is one of Albany’s most powerful, little-understood and private of figures, called “the Sphinx” by some for his ability to prevail in budgets and policy.
A renowned political strategist, he even may have strengthened his position by making sexual harassment harder to get away with. By publicly admitting he was wrong to seal the case with a confidentiality agreement and promising not to do any others, he issued a strong early warning to lawmakers.
Democratic Assemblyman John McEneny said the Lopez case already has struck back at sexual harassment, just as previous reforms to the legislative intern program addressed some of the barhopping and relationships with young — usually female — staffers.
“Individually, there will always be a problem as long as there are human beings,” said Mr. McEneny, a member of the Assembly ethics committee. “But institutionally, we tend to take steps to make sure it doesn’t happen again.”
By Elaine Donnelly
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