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Legislative aide accused of groping woman at Amedore fundraiser

Oct 17, 2018 2:00 pm
Brendan J. Lyons is reporting for the Times Union the chief of staff for state Sen. Simcha Felder was placed on paid administrative leave October 16, after the Times Union had earlier reported that the aide, Rodney C. Powis, 48, an attorney from East Greenbush, had been accused of groping and sexually harassing a female lobbyist during a campaign fundraiser for state Sen. George Amedore. Powis attended the event as Felder's representative. The victim of the assault filed a criminal complaint with local police and notified Felder's office of the allegations over the weekend. The Senate's investigation of the matter will be handled by a private law firm, and the Albany County Sheriff's Office is in the process of interviewing people who attended the party. Late Monday, Amedore initially declined to say when he had been made aware of the incident. "I really don't know, really, what you're talking about, and I don't feel that I should, at this particular time, chat with you because I don't know," he said. Amedore did not say whether he had reported the allegations to Senate leadership, as required. He called the paper back about an hour later to say that he had reported it, but declined to say when that was done. A Senate source said Amedore had reported it over the weekend. His Democratic opponent in the upcoming election, Pat Strong, issued a statement criticizing Amedore's handling of the matter. "Sexual assault and harassment took place at a George Amedore fundraiser, and it appears nothing was done to address this situation until the press got involved," Strong said. "...We must believe women and make it safe for women to come forward," she said. The Senate's sexual harassment policy requires an investigation because Powis attended the private event on Felder's behalf and the alleged victim interacts with the Legislature in an official capacity as a lobbyist. Read the full story in the Times Union.
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