Albany’s long-overdue reckoning on sexual harassment: The Capitol is finally facing up to its chronic failure to treat victims fairly

Originally published in NY Daily News

Biaggi’s tears quickly turned to steam at the revelation that the Joint Commission on Public Ethics (JCOPE) asks victims of harassment about their prior sexual history. The sheer collective rage in that room could’ve set the Capitol ablaze. Instead, Biaggi used it to grill JCOPE over an open flame.

Sputtering through his testimony, Executive Director Seth Agata made lame lawyer jokes that Biaggi batted away by reminding him that she too is a lawyer, asking point blank: “Is JCOPE really capable of handling sexual harassment cases?” Unsatisfied with Agata’s answer that “the way the law is written now we can not give perhaps the full relief a victim of sexual harassment may be entitled to,” she was unequivocal: “the way the law is written is not working.”