Mayor de Blasio Called Out for Hypocrisy on Sexual Harassment

Senator Catharine Young authored landmark sexual harassment legislation poised for passage in the State Senate next week

Albany, New York -- Senator Catharine Young (R,C,I – 57th District) today blasted New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio as a hypocrite for trying to parse his way out of taking responsibility for hiring a schools chancellor who was accused of destroying a woman’s career after she admonished him for coming on to a female colleague at a conference.

“The Mayor fancies himself to be a national “progressive leader,” but in this era of the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements, he has handpicked someone with this type of abhorrent record, retaliating against a woman who called him out for behaving inappropriately towards a female colleague?  It’s hypocritical and frankly, breathtaking. How tone deaf can he be?,” said Senator Catharine Young, who chairs the Senate Finance Committee and has introduced sweeping legislation in the State Senate to protect workers from sexual harassment.

“State government should hold the Mayor accountable for the billions of dollars that the state allocates to New York City schools every year, and hiring someone with this background as chancellor is not a good use of the taxpayers’ hard-earned money,” said Senator Young.

De Blasio’s spokeswoman Olivia Lapeyrolerie denied that the accusations regarding newly-picked schools chancellor Richard Carranza were true, even though Carranza’s actions were the basis for a gender and disability discrimination lawsuit which was filed in 2015 and settled by the San Francisco school system for an undisclosed amount of money.

“Although Carranza may not have been personally sued, it is fact that the lawsuit sprang from incidents involving him, and the school system and the taxpayers of San Francisco had to foot the bill. His accuser, educator Veronica Chavez, has said that Carranza retaliated against her and subjected her and other female employees to a hostile work environment.  Oftentimes, the institution is sued for an individual’s bad deeds.  That’s why Senate Republicans are poised to pass our comprehensive anti-sexual harassment bill next week that holds individuals responsible for sexual harassment, ends secret settlements, and protects New Yorkers in both the public and private sectors,” Senator Young said.

“It is unconscionable that Mayor de Blasio has chosen someone with such an unsightly blemish on his record to lead the largest school system in the country that has more than a million students and 75,000 teachers. City schools already are struggling with teachers who have been removed from the classrooms and placed in “rubber rooms” for sexual misconduct and other offenses, getting paid while they await disciplinary hearings. It is estimated that up to 400 teachers are whiling away their hours with little to do, costing the taxpayers as much as an estimated $20 million a year.  How can a chancellor clean up this type of mess after his own actions spurred a sexual harassment lawsuit?” Senator Young said.

“The New York City system has serious problems such as failing schools that are hurting children and their futures.  The children, teachers and taxpayers deserve to have a chancellor that can lead by example. Carranza gets an “F” in that category, and he should not get the job,” said Senator Young.