A former top aide has accused a New York Democrat assemblyman of sexual harassment and creating a toxic work environment. The Democrat talked about genitalia and his teen son's sexual encounters with underage girls, according to an eye-opening report.
Damning accusations of sexual harassment have been made against Assemblyman Patrick B. Burke of Buffalo, New York. Nicole Golias, Burke's former legislative director, claimed the Erie County Democrat of several accusations of sexual harassment.
Golias, who worked with Burke from September 2021 to May 2022, filed a complaint accusing the 38-year-old New York Democrat of making lewd comments about women's bodies and remarking about underage girls who were seen in sexual videos with the assemblyman's son.
The Buffalo News reported on Friday, "Two other people with firsthand knowledge of Burke’s behavior in his district office also said they witnessed conversations in which the assemblyman used language they considered inappropriate and commented on women’s looks."
Golias claims that Burke made "vulgar, crass, and sexually explicit comments."
Golias said, "Pat would do stuff that made us pretty uncomfortable with regularity."
The former top aide accused Burke of telling his staff that "he had viewed sexually explicit videos of his son and female partners on his son’s Snapchat account."
The upstate New York outlet reported, "Burke called his teenage son’s sexual partners 'hot,' Golias said. Golias said she told Burke that the people were minors. According to Golias’ complaint, Burke, using a profane term, told his staff that if the partner had large breasts and 'a size zero waist,' 'she's hot.'"
Matthew T.H. Dearing, the assemblyman's former director of community relations, claimed that he felt "very taken aback" by Burke’s "comments about the girl’s physique."
"He said the girls in the videos were ‘hot and it didn’t matter that they were under aged [sic]," the New York Post reported of the complaint.
Golias and Dearing accused Burke of commenting on the genitalia of a man Golias was dating.
Burke has refuted the accusations against him. He said that he "absolutely" did not comment on the bodies of men and women.
Golias claims that Burke brought psychedelic mushrooms into the office.
The complaint reads, "This behavior included comments about himself as a 'colonizer' because he had control and dominion over his wife because he is Caucasian and his wife is Puerto Rican."
Golias and Dearing alleged that Burke "would do anything he could to appear cool and attractive."
Burke has denied the accusations. He called the accusations "absurd" and "a lie."
Burke lashed out after the complaint, "Ms. Golias' behavior was egregious during her brief tenure in my office, and it is an outrage that she would accuse me of the very behavior she not only participated in, but fostered. She has twisted the truth and outright lied in the past, and she is doing it again for monetary gain."
Golias is seeking unspecified damages for lost wages and emotional distress in her sexual harassment complaint.
Golias was one of three staffers to be fired last year after controversy surrounding the Tops mass shooting in Buffalo.
"Assemblyman Pat Burke's now former staff members said he indicated he wanted to make a fiery speech on the Assembly floor denouncing white supremacy and the so-called Great Replacement Theory," Spectrum News 1 reported last May.
"Dearing, Keany, and Legislative Director Nicole Golias, who was also on the call, felt it was clear Burke was worried taking too strong a stance would not play well in his traditionally white Irish Catholic district," the report stated. "Dearing, Burke's only Black staffer, said he was directed to turn his attention to gathering volunteers to collect independent nominating petitions for Burke."
Burke said the three former employees were fired for "gross insubordination."
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