Posted at: 09/09/2012 11:53 PM
By: by Beth Wurtmann
ALBANY - “My name is Monica Arias Miranda and I am a former Ways and Means Committee Staffer.”
That's when the 'mystery' woman was finally revealed. The anonymous person who sent out an announcement last Friday, called herself a "former assembly staffer." Calling a press conference to reveal her identity and blast a culture in the state legislature that she claims is hostile to women.
Miranda announced Sunday, “Intimidation, bullying, harassment and hush money must end, now.”
Monica Arias Miranda tried to tie her own story to the growing Vito Lopez scandal, where two women charging the Brooklyn Assemblyman with sexual harassment were paid over a hundred thousand dollars in public money in a secret deal approved by the Assembly leader. Prompting calls for an investigation by the Joint Commission on Public Ethics, or J-COPE.
Miranda says when she worked in the Ways and Means committee from 2006 to 2010, her boss intimated and harassed her. But says no action was taken when she complained. And said she was later fired.
But as reporters learned her identity, realizing she's a state senate candidate with a primary four days away, we asked her if this is just a publicity stunt.
When we asked how the timing of these claims is this not related to her campaign, she answered “I have been, if I don't speak now, nobody's going to listen to me…Nobody's talking about real issues which is, there's a lot more - nobody's talking about it.”
Miranda is running in the democratic primary Thursday in the 46th State Senate District. We asked her two opponents by phone how they feel about her claims of a legislature hostile to women. They say they're sticking to the issues that affect the voters at home.
J-COPE has scheduled a special commission meeting for tomorrow morning.