Mon January 6, 2014
PR expert says Gabryszak needs to break silence
Sexual harassment allegations continue to mount against Assemblyman Dennis Gabryszak of Cheektowaga, but Gabryszak continues to maintain his silence and appears to be in hiding. As WBFO's Eileen Buckley reports, one public relations expert it's time for the lawmaker to step forward.
"The silence has been inappropriate since the accusations came out. As an elective representative, he is held to a higher standard than typical person that stands accused," said Michael Caputo, a crisis communications consultant.
Caputo served as communications manager during Carl Paladino's campaign for governor in 2010, a time that included managing some controversies.
As of late last week, two more women came forward with sexual harassment allegations against Gabryszak. There are now six female staffers accusing the Democratic lawmaker of misconduct. But so far, Gabryzsak has not made any public comment under the advice of his lawyer.
Caputo tells WBFO it is the lawmaker’s job to communicate and interact with the community and so far Gabryszak has failed to do so since these claims surfaced.
"What you need to do is communicate," said Caputo. "Communicate immediately. You don't need to speak about the particulars in the case or even address the accusations, but you must speak. Otherwise, every day you are silent, you are losing ground."
Caputo has plenty of experience. He has managed public relations for 77 political campaigns, 13 of them involved sexual claims in four different countries.
The New York State Assembly Ethics Committee will review the allegations. Several political leaders, including Governor Andrew Cuomo said if these claims are true ,Gabryszak must resign.
Caputo said the assemblyman not only is concerned with his political career but also his "political afterlife."