Silver Takes Action Against Hoyt For "Inappropriate Relationship"
With Assembly Intern

Based on recommendation of Assembly Ethics and Guidance Committee,
following committee's investigation

Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver said today that he will take action against Assemblyman Sam Hoyt (D-Buffalo) for what the bi-partisan Assembly Ethics and Guidance Committee deemed was an "inappropriate personal relationship" with an Assembly intern.

Hoyt was notified by the Speaker today that he is banned from participation in any Assembly internship or student mentoring program, and that he must discontinue an intern program that he runs from his Buffalo office.

"The Assembly Ethics and Guidance Committee found that Sam Hoyt had an improper relationship with an intern. I am deeply disturbed and disappointed by the actions of Assemblyman Hoyt and will take action against him as recommended by the unanimous decision of the bi-partisan committee," Silver said. "Student interns come to the Assembly because this setting provides an unparalleled opportunity to learn about the legislative process and New York's political landscape. It is absolutely unacceptable for any Assembly member to behave in this manner, or to do anything else that damages the integrity of the intern program."

In its report to Speaker Silver, the Ethics and Guidance Committee noted that Hoyt had a relationship with a 23-year-old Assembly intern that started in 2003 and continued through early 2005. The Assembly promulgated a Policy Prohibiting Fraternization with Student Interns (click here) on May 18, 2004. The committee noted that, at the time the policy was adopted, the individual indicated in the Hoyt matter was no longer an intern.

"Assemblyman Hoyt's actions demonstrate why the policy we adopted four years ago is necessary. In addition to the actions against Hoyt, to reinforce our commitment to supporting and protecting the intern program, I will also follow the suggestion of the Ethics and Guidance Committee to incorporate a fraternization policy into the official rules of the Assembly," Silver said.

Pursuant to Assembly Rules, the Assembly Standing Committee on Ethics and Guidance is made up of an equal number of majority and minority members. The committee, chaired by Assemblyman William Magnarelli (D-Syracuse), includes four Democrats and four Republicans.


For a copy of the letter from Speaker Silver to Assemblyman Hoyt, click here.