Councilman Barry Grodenchik is being accused of making a female staffer feel uncomfortable.
According to her, he greeted her with a hug and kiss, which he apparently didn’t do with other members of his staff, as well as blowing a kiss across the table to her during a meeting, according to Councilman Steven Matteo, who chairs the City Council’s Ethics Committee.
After the allegations came to light, Speaker Corey Johnson acted swiftly, removing Grodenchik from the council’s Budget Negotiating Team and, according to a statement issued by Grodenchik, stripping him of his Parks Committee chairmanship.
In his statement, Grodenchik admits that after finalizing an important piece of legislation, he hugged and shook hands with several people, but it was never his intention to make anyone feel uncomfortable.
“I will not allow the good name my parents gave to me to be dragged through the mud for this single action which, as the Speaker well knows, was never intended to make anyone uncomfortable,” his statement read.
He also called on his colleagues in the City Council to stand up for him and reject Johnson’s attempts to strip him of his chairmanship. We’ve actually already heard from several people in political circles – although no City Council members, for the record – who are standing behind Grodenchik.
The lesson here: There’s no hugging in politics!