Sam Hoyt's Intern Affairs (UPDATED)
Assemblyman Sam Hoyt said late Tuesday that he and his wife experienced “a difficult time in our marriage” in the past after a local blogger forwarded allegations to Speaker Sheldon Silver of affairs with two interns, prompting Silver to promise “appropriate action.”
Hoyt late Tuesday would not address the specifics of his marital difficulties and would neither confirm nor deny involvement with interns other than to acknowledge he had “broken my marriage vows” 3 1/2 years ago.
But a statement issued by Silver’s office indicated that information regarding alleged conduct of a member of the Assembly had been forwarded to the press office and was passed on to the chairman of the Committee on Ethics and Guidance for “appropriate action.”
“The Assembly has strict policies regarding fraternization,” said spokesman Daniel Weiller. “Violations of these policies will not be tolerated.”
Hoyt insisted in his statement and in an interview that no official rules or laws were broken, as alleged by blogger Joseph J. Illuzzi.
“That simply is not true,” Hoyt said.
It is interesting that while Illuzzi is given credit for posting the information, his website is not mentioned by name, nor was the web address revealed. Of course, Illuzzi’s so-called blog is PoliticsNY.net (which at the time of this blog entry appears to be having some SQL issues) and Illuzzi has scooped the Buffalo News many times, so I guess the credit he did get was better than nothing. Buffalo Pundit notes that Illuzzi is probably more bothered by being called a “blogger” than he is by the criticisms he’s apparently getting in the media. He also believes that the leaking of the emails “undoubtedly originates from City Hall.”
UPDATE: Sam Hoyt’s statement, from 1:30 this afternoon:
Recently, accusations and slurs have been made online about my personal life; and like a lot of things on the Internet, much of it is false.
Here’s what is true. Several years ago, my wife and I had a difficult time in our marriage. Since that time, my wife Connie and I have worked hard to put this behind us, and believe the episode to be a painful but private matter best left in the past.
While my past actions were unfortunate, and for which I have expressed to my family my sincere apology, one blogger has alleged that official rules or laws were broken. That simply is not true.
It’s sad that my political opponents have chosen to resort to the lowest tactics by dredging up a private matter from years ago just 21 days before an election. The timing is no accident. They would rather wallow in this type of politics than debate the challenges that face our community. I am disappointed, but frankly, not all that surprised given the players involved.
I leave this in the voters’ hands. It’s my view that the people of Buffalo and Grand Island face more pressing issues than this. My family, who are more important to me than anything, has gone through a great deal to put this in the past where it belongs. We ask only for the privacy that any other family would be granted under these circumstances — nothing more, nothing less.
UPDATE, 3:40 PM: Sandy Beach is trashing blogs on WBEN right now.
UPDATE: Still on Hoyt’s website:
Since being elected in 1992, more than 200 undergraduate and graduate students and volunteers have interned in my office. Many of these past interns are now employed in their desired fields of government, journalism, academia, and law.
I need motivated individuals to assist my office staff with a variety of responsibilities. Because my staff is small, I rely on volunteers to help perform my job and respond effectively to the needs of my constituents. I encourage people from all backgrounds who are interested in learning more about the legislative process, and improving the quality of life in our community to contact my District Office about my internship program. -Sam Hoyt
How many clicks do you think that’s getting?
UPDATE: More at What In The Sam Hoyt?
Two women believed to have been romantically linked to Assemblyman Sam Hoyt were adults and not interns when they were allegedly involved with the married legislator, according to records from the Assembly and the state comptroller’s office obtained by The Buffalo News.
The information, which could exonerate Hoyt of legal or rule violations, came as an Assembly ethics committee with broad investigatory powers began a lightning-fast probe into the allegations against the eight-term assemblyman, just weeks before a crucial primary election.
But Wednesday, Hoyt, 46, said he could not comment on the details – including the timing – of his alleged affairs.
A day earlier, Hoyt, D-Buffalo, had admitted to The News that he had “broken his wedding vows” 3-1/2 years ago but denied he had done anything illegal or against State Assembly rules in doing so.