ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) -- An influential Democratic New York lawmaker accused of forcibly kissing a former staffer outside an Albany bar three years ago has asked a state ethics panel to investigate the allegations.
State Sen. Jeff Klein of the Bronx sent a letter Thursday to the Joint Commission on Public Ethics asking the panel to look into Erica Vladimer's accusations. Klein has denied the allegations.
JCOPE's spokesman says the commission can't comment on whether an investigation has been started.
Vladimer first told the Huffington Post in a story posted Wednesday that Klein forcibly kissed her outside the bar in the spring of 2015, a month before she left her job with the Senate's Independent Democratic Conference.
Klein leads the eight-member IDC, which split off from mainline Democrats to support Senate Republicans.