Buffalo, N.Y. (WKBW) Assemblyman Dennis Gabyrszak told media he will "retire" from the New York State Assembly.
The decision came after several female current or former staff members of the assemblyman filed court documents accusing the Cheektowaga lawmaker of sexual harassment.
Sunday Gabryszak addressed reporters and said although he will continue to defend the allegations against him he will move forward with his decision to retire after "32 years of public service."
The assemblyman said "There was mutual banter and exchanges that took place that should not have taken place because it is inappropriate in the workplace even if it does not constitute sexual harassment."
The following statement was issued by Gabryszak:
Just a few days ago, I was provided the last in a series of allegations made by a group of women who were members of my staff. I have not replied until now because I had not even seen all of allegations until two days ago. It would have been foolish to respond to allegations I had not yet seen.
During this difficult time I have continued to fulfill my obligations as a member of New York State Assembly. I attended meetings in my district and worked in my office responding to requests and inquiries from my constituents.
I have also had lengthy discussions with advisors, supporters and long time friends. Most importantly, I have spoken at length to the people who mean the most to me, my family. I have also observed-first hand- the impact this has had on them.
At this time, I want the public and my colleagues to know:
There was no sexual contact between me and any members of my staff
There was never a request that sexual contact should occur
There was never any intent on my part to sexually harass any member of my staff or to create a hostile work environment
In fact, there are allegations that have been made that are demonstrably false
There was mutual banter and exchanges that took place that should not have taken place because it is inappropriate in the workplace even if it does not constitute sexual harassment
My decision today is based upon the impact this has had on my family and my concern for the important work of the assembly.
I have, therefore decided that after thirty two years of public service, I will retire from the New York State Assembly. I want to thank all of my supporters and constituents from each state of my public life. It has been an honor to represent you. I am proud of the legislation I have sponsored and the issues I have championed. Often these accomplishments have made a difference in the lives of the people I represented.
I will continue to defend the allegations in the civil litigation that have been made against me, the assembly and the State of New York.
I want to thank all of you who have reached out to offer support to me and my family. I have learned who my true friends are.
This is a difficult time for me and my family. I will consider questions at a future date.