- Associated Press - Monday, May 12, 2014

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - A judge has dismissed a lawsuit from an upstate New York activist who claimed Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver misused taxpayer money in a sexual harassment settlement.

Robert Schulz, who isn’t a lawyer, had accused Silver of illegally and secretly settling a sexual harassment case against Assemblyman Vito Lopez for $103,000.

In a decision signed Friday, Judge Kimberly O’Connor dismissed the lawsuit, concluding that Schulz didn’t have standing to sue and that Silver was not liable for actions that were within his discretion.

Assembly staff said Silver’s settlement was legal and part of routine practice. The women who brought the suit had sought far more.

Lopez denied sexually harassing anyone. He paid an additional $32,000 on his own to settle the women’s suit.

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