Primary opponents slam Klein over sexual misconduct allegation

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The controversy has the potential to impact the power-sharing arrangement in the Senate, which along with the Assembly is expected to take on sexual harassment during the 2018 session.

Jeff Klein of forcibly kissing her while celebrating passage of the state budget in 2015, an allegation Klein strenuously denied Wednesday.

Vladimer said she immediately rejected Klein's alleged advance, and later that evening told a friend about what she said happened.

The incident is alleged to have happened in 2015, outside of the bar then known as Justin's in Albany, when the two went outside to smoke a cigarette on the night the state budget had been approved.

Savino, who was also at the bar, backs up Klein's account.

"I think Senator Klein needs to step up", she said. Jeff Klein, leader of the Independent Democratic Conference, and Sen. A ninth Democrat, Simcha Felder, also caucuses with the Republicans but is not a member of the IDC.

"Of the female staff members we interviewed at the Independent Democratic Conference, none reported ever having felt uncomfortable, unsafe or threatened by Sen".

The Bronx Senator now joins the flood of political, media and entertainment-industry figures who have been accused of sexually harassing women.

"The fact that there was an environment that could make me doubt the self-confidence that I worked so hard to have ― that I got from the strong women in my life ― made me feel like it wasn't the place for me", Vladimer said of her decision to leave. Liz Krueger (D-Manhattan), who, in the Huffington Post story, called for an independent review of Vladimer's claim.

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The woman who made the allegations against Klein, Erica Vladimer, agreed to be identified in the Huffington Post article.

Vladimer said she then went back into the bar and was initially anxious that Klein's girlfriend, Savino, may have seen them.

The Senate Ethics and Internal Governance Committee could be the investigatory body to look into the alleged incident, though questions are being raised about whether IDC senators on that committee - Diane Savino, David Carlucci and David Valesky - should recuse themselves. "You know the area, you know Lark Street", Savino said in the call with reporters.

Former Cuomo administration attorney Alessandra Biaggi says she is helping the Democratic Party after its 2016 losses by campaigning to oust her local Democratic senator.

The leader of the State Senate, John Flanagan, says the chamber does not have the jurisdiction to investigate the charges, because the accuser is no longer a Senate employee, and no formal complaint has been filed.

"As a leader of a very powerful conference in the NY state legislature, he has the ability to effectuate change, " she said. He supports Klein's accuser and women with similar experiences. A spokeswoman told several publications that Vladimer was planning on leaving well before the alleged incident occurred. We have the Senate Dems who put out legislative packages on sexual harassment, and the governor saying he's going to discuss proposals.

Klein told reporters he is not stepping down as head of the IDC, which he first helped found in 2011.

"I find her to be a honest and credible person who was clearly very shaken about what happened to her that she made the decision to leave state government in Albany because of it", Krueger told HuffPost.

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