Bronx City Councilman Andy King is known more for his outfits than any significant public policy. His name recognition outside of his Bronx district, City Council District 12 — which covers the neighborhoods of Wakefield, Olinville, Edenwald, Eastchester, Williamsbridge, Baychester, and Co-op City — is slim.
That was until a sexual harassment complaint was filed against the councilman last week, according to sources, bringing a national reckoning to the corridors of City Hall.
NY1 learned on Thursday that the councilman has been accused of saying sexual and inappropriate things to a council staffer. NY1 is not disclosing more details about the complaint, in order to protect the identity of the staffer involved.
The complaint is now under review by a rarely-tapped council committee, the Committee on Standards and Ethics, which has planned a meeting Friday to investigate. That committee could censure, fine, or even expel the councilman.
Council officials would not confirm any details about the complaint. City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito only said the body would deal with it swiftly.
"Any issues and concerns regarding, obviously, sexual harassment are taken seriously in this council and we look forward to the hearing that will happen tomorrow," Mark-Viverito said to members of the media Thursday.
Gross: Anyone who has a substantiated claim of sexual harassment against them, should they be expelled from the council?
Mark-Viverito: We have a process by which we are going through. I am not going to put the cart ahead of the horse.
This is not the first time King has been accused of inappropriate behavior.
In 2015, a former council staffer filed a Notice of Claim with the city, threatening to sue over King's behavior. The claim states King created a "hostile work environment by sexually harassing" the staffer, who had been fired. Sources tell NY1 that she never filed a lawsuit.
King did not return repeated calls from NY1 for comment.
Other city council members would not comment on the specifics of the case but said sexual harassment is something that the council has to take seriously.
"Anytime there is an allegation, it has to be taken very seriously," Queens City Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer said.
The Friday meeting of the Committee on Standards and Ethics will happen behind closed doors, and it is unclear when we will know what will happen to King.