A Senate candidate on Sunday came forward with allegations of a hostile work environment in the state Assembly dating back to her employment with the chamber from 2006 to 2010.
Monica Arias Miranda, who is running for a newly created Senate seat in the Capital Region and parts of Ulster County, said she was nicknamed “Princess Leia” by her boss in the Assembly Ways and Means Committee and felt physically threatened in one incident where he “hovered” over her.
Arias Miranda, head of the Hispanic Coalition NY, faces a three-way Democratic primary on Thursday.
“I am one of those women who have been silent because no one would hear me even after I took the steps I was trained to take during the harassment trainings by the New York State Assembly,” Arias Miranda told reporters Sunday. “I commend the young women who have been so courageous to come forward.”
She repeatedly rejected the notion that her Sunday press conference was a way to generate publicity for her Senate campaign, instead saying it would probably “ruin” her chances at re-entering the public sector. The press conference was announced by an anonymous email on Friday, which said a “concerned former Assembly staffer” would be speaking out in the wake of sexual harassment complaints lodged against longtime Assemblyman Vito Lopez, D-Brooklyn.
Based on an email provided by Arias Miranda, it appeared she spoke with the Assembly’s Human Resources department in 2008 about an incident with her boss, but it was unclear if she filed a formal complaint. The email mostly had to do with issues surrounding Arias Miranda’s time cards, but does refer to a prior conversation she had with the Assembly’s legal counsel and a HR representative,