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JCOPE settles with former Assembly member, former Senate staffer on harassment-related charges

Aug 15, 2019

The state ethics commission has settled with a former Assembly member and a former Senate staffer in two cases involving sexual harassment

The case against former Assembly member Angela Wozniak from the Buffalo area dates from 2016, when she was accused of harassing a male staffer, after Wozniak, who was married, had a brief consensual romantic relationship with her employee.

Wozniak, in the settlement with the Joint Commission on Public Ethics, or JCOPE, admitted her conduct violated the Public Officers Law. Under JCOPE’s rules, no fine or other punishment was imposed.  

Wozniak replaced former Assemblyman Dennis Gabryszak, who was also accused of sexual harassment, and who was required to pay a fine. Several lawsuits against him by former staffers are still pending. 

JCOPE also settled with a former staffer to former state Sen. Marc Panepinto, also of western New York.

In a settlement, Christopher Savage admitted that he tried to dissuade another employee from reporting sexual harassment by Panepinto.

Panepinto pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor related to the conduct in 2018. Savage also will not face a fine or any other penalties for his conduct.