Disgraced ex-Assemblyman Vito Lopez’s sexual harassment scandal is socking taxpayers with a soaring legal bill, the Daily News has learned.
The state already has forked over nearly $700,000 to two law firms hired by Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and the Assembly to defend them against lawsuits filed last year by two of Lopez’s accusers - and the trials are still months away.
The accusers, Victoria Burhans and Chloe Rivera, charged in their lawsuits that Silver was "deliberately indifferent" to Lopez's pervy ways, creating a hostile work environment.
The firm Proskauer Rose, hired by Silver to defend him against a federal lawsuit brought by the two women, received $367,443 as of July, according to data provided by the state controller's office.
And the firm Hogan Lovells, which is defending the Assembly in a similar suit brought in state court by Burhans and Rivera, has been paid $309,831.
Both firms are billing the state $500 an hour for their work.