October 24, 2008

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Ball cleared of sexual harassment charges

Ball: "political

CARMEL – Republican Assemblyman Greg Ball has one big weight off his back, eleven days before election day.

The freshman lawmaker, who is in the midst of a bitter reelection campaign, received word from Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver Thursday advising the Assembly Ethics Committee found no evidence that he violated the state’s sexual harassment policy.

Ball had been accused by a former staff member of calling her home in April 2007 and inquiring about her sexual preferences. The 60-year-old Pawling woman sent a memo to Silver claiming Ball had sexually harassed her shortly before she quit her job in his district office.

After a complaint was filed, the counsel to the Democratic majority initiated an investigation of the matter that included numerous interviews and a review of documentary evidence.

Silver advised Ball. “As a result of this investigation, the committee finds that a violation was not established. Furthermore complaints must be made within one year after occurrence of the alleged prohibited conduct and in this case the complaint was made 16 months after the alleged conduct and 14 months after the woman left the Assembly payroll. No action will be taken on this matter.”

Ball denied the accusations from the beginning calling them “smear campaign tactics perpetuated by my challenger and his supporters.”

Ball told the Putnam Courier: “There is no greater critic of Albany than myself. The Ethics Committee is comprised of a jury of my peers—peers while I serve with I have been on the outside of issues during my first term when it comes to politics. Even they saw through this political charade. I’m both happy and relieved. This long statewide nightmare in the 99th Assembly District is now over. Hopefully my opponent will begin to focus on the real issues of tax reform, balancing the budget and the property tax crisis.”

Ball is being challenged Nov.4 by former Brewster Mayor John Degnan for the right to represent constituents in Carmel, Southeast, Patterson, Pawling, North Salem, Somers and Yorktown in the State Assembly.

Ball defeated Degnan in a GOP Primary last month. He will also be running with Conservative and Independence Party support while Degnan, a registered Republican, is running with the support of the Democratic and Working Family parties’ lines.



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