Fact Check of Shelley Mayer's Excuses and Lies in Defense of Ignoring Women Who Were Sexually Harassed
The campaign of New York Senate candidate Julie Killian (R-Rye) today blasted Assemblywoman Shelley Mayer for making excuses and lying to defend reprehensible behavior revealed in an explosive report in the Daily News.
"Shelley Mayer has demonstrated an egregious pattern of choosing politics over the victims of sexual abuse. And now she is making excuses and flat-out lying about these latest revelations. But this much is clear: Shelley Mayer does not support women when it is politically inexpedient. Her entire candidacy is built on a lie," campaign spokesperson Mollie Fullington said.
Below is a Fact Check of Shelley Mayer’s “defense” for ignoring the pleas of desperate women who had been sexually harassed when she was in a position to help.
MAYER EXCUSE: Mayer says that helping these women wasn’t her responsibility, it was the Secretary of the Senate’s job. That was Angelo Aponte.
MAYER LIE: Mayer said she referred the matter to Aponte.
FACT: Aponte said he has no recollection of Mayer reaching out to him.
Daily News: Two Mayer colleagues at the time said she brought up the issue with Aponte. Aponte told The News he has no recollection of that.
Tweet from victim Julia Lilkendey @JGLil
There must be personnel documents from when @ShelleyBMayer told Angelo Aponte & Mary K Berger. After Carlos was tipped off I was trying to get help, he said the conference demanded my phone records & credit card statements. Maybe I could see a record of any attempt to reach me?
MAYER LIE: Mayer said she did everything she could for the victims.
FACT: The victims say otherwise.
Tweet from Julia Lilkendey @JGLil:
@dougforand @Shelley4Senate I was terrified and you told me to wait until after the election. I didn’t think I should wait until after the April 24 election to speak out. People should know where you stand.
Daily News: The women say Shelley Mayer, a Yonkers Democrat, did little to help despite being asked directly to intervene in their situations.
“Mayer didn’t do anything for me,” Wittenwyler said. “She put me in more danger.”
“She was in a position to help all of us and didn’t,” Wittenwyler said. Both women noted Mayer could have gone to Senate leadership or pushed for their harassers to be suspended or removed.
“I told her (Mayer) I’m frightened,” Wittenwyler said.
Days after their first meeting, Wittenwyler said Mayer called her “and told me not to fixate on what happened six months ago. She told me to hold my fire and keep records of everything personally.”
Mayer, Kulvicki (a surrogate) said, (Mayer) told him she’d like to help — after the election.
“People don’t know how scary it is to report sexual harassment at work,” Lilkendey said.
Wittenwyler said she told Mayer, “This is why people don’t come forward.”
- Mayer publicly supported the use of taxpayer money to cover up the sexual harassment and abuse of young female staff in the State Assembly. The New York Times: "Assembly Democrats Back Speaker Over Settlement"; August 30, 2012
- Mayer provided the legal justification to seat former State Senator Hiram Monserrate after his arrest for slashing his girlfriend's face with broken glass amid bipartisan support not to. The New York Times: "Monserrate Says He Is Innocent and Vows to Take New York Senate Seat"; December 20, 2008
“Shelley Mayer’s pattern of choosing politics over the victims of sexual harassment and violence is indefensible. The sexual harassment and abuse of women will not stop until the enabling has stopped. Shelley Mayer’s conduct is completely unacceptable and cannot stand. Shelley Mayer should resign her seat in the Assembly immediately and end her campaign for State Senate,” Julie Killian said.