State settles sexual harassment cases against 2 former lawmakers

Aug 16, 2019

The New York state ethics commission has settled with a former assemblymember and a former senate staffer in two cases involving sexual harassment.

Angela Wozniak
Credit Hogan Willig Attorneys at Law / WBFO File Photo

The case against former Conservative Assemblymember Angela Wozniak, who represented the Cheektowaga/Depew/Lancaster area, dates from 2016. 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 admits her conduct violated the Public Officers Law. Under JCOPE’s rules, no fine or other punishment was imposed.

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

Marc Panepinto
Credit Eileen Buckley / WBFO News File Photo

JCOPE also settled with a former staffer to former State Sen. Mark Panepinto, a Buffalo Democrat. Christopher Savage, in a settlement, admits 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.