Updated 09/09/2012 06:42 PM
Former Assembly staffer speaks out against work environment
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ALBANY, N.Y. -- A former New York Assembly staffer held a news conference to address what she calls a culture that perpetuates assault on women working in the legislature. Monica Arias Miranda, 41, is a former Ways and Means Committee staffer.
According to Miranda, she was subjected to demeaning and humiliating experiences during her time there. In 2008, she said she filed a complaint with human resources, but her problems still continued. She was fired from her position in 2010.
Miranda said she chose to come forward now because two downstate lawmakers are being investigated for unethical practices, including State Assemblyman Vito Lopez, who is accused of inappropriately touching two staffers. Miranda said she is calling for an in depth investigation into the working conditions of the State Legislature.
"The examples are really too many, and today, so far removed from my life. But, I have been watching very closely what's happening with Assemblyman Vito Lopez and the scandal surrounding it," said Miranda. "I am truly furious to see that things have not changed at all in this place, nor does it seem like any efforts are being made to change it."
Miranda is running for New York State Senate, but said her actions are not politically motivated.
Kerri Biche, Deputy Press Secretary for the New York State Assembly said in a statement, "There is no dispute that she and her boss did not get along, however, at no time did she ever claim she was harassed, nor did she ever file a harassment or discrimination complaint."