Constituents react amid Wozniak scandal and ethics commission ruling

CHEEKTOWAGA, N.Y. (WIVB) — The State Ethics Commission is coming down on a local representative, saying she broke the rules.

Assemblywoman Angela Wozniak, a republican representing the 143rd district, came under fire in September 2015, less than a year after entering office. A senior staff member accused the 28-year-old of sexual harassment. The Ethics Commission ruled Wednesday Wozniak will have to attend sexual harassment and retaliation training classes and she isn’t allowed to have interns.

“I know if it was a man in that position there would probably be a huge public outcry demanding public action be taken,” said Keith Tauge, a Cheektowaga man. “It’s reassuring that there’s no double standards.”

Wozniak won the November 2014 filled the seat left vacant by Dennis Gabryszak who left amid sexual harassment allegations from several women.

“We need elected officials in there to this sort of backdoor bargaining, and fight corruption,” said Wozniak when she announced her run for the seat.  “And make sure that we weed out ethical violations where they exist.”

“It’s almost like things come full circle; you think you’ve taken care of a problem,” said Keith Tague, one of Wozniak’s constituents. “When we first heard the allegations of the assault, it seemed a little off the wall but now it’s come out that she did have affair.”

Steven Cohen, Wozniak’s lawyer, confirmed that to News 4 on Wednesday. Cohen said in a statement the relations between Wozniak and senior staff member were consensual, adding “there was not enough evidence to find her guilty of sexual harassment, or quid pro quo [“something for something”, an exchange of services], or a hostile work environment.”

 

 

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