(Luis Cornelio, Headline USA) Yet another Democrat politician from New York is under fire amid alleged sexual assault.
Queens’ Assemblyman Juan Ardila, an AOC-endorsed Democrat, was slammed by a round of fired-up constituents on a Thursday virtual meeting to discuss leftist policy proposals and the state’s new budget, which included an overhaul of woke criminal justices they themselves passed in 2019.
“I want to make sure that I make it clear that you have to address what the women are calling [for] and you cannot ignore the calls for resignation from the victims and then not say anything,” Councilwoman Julie Won told Ardila. “You have to explain why you’re refusing to resign.”
Ardila, a first-time member of the New York State Assembly and life-long resident of Queens, received the endorsement of Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y. through her Courage of Change PAC ahead of his 2021 candidacy.
The leftist lawmaker received his own feature on the AOC-led PAC’s website, which lists candidates “who have taken the Courage to Change pledge.” The PAC’s site defines the pledge as “a tool to help New York City voters elect a strong progressive city council in our new ranked-choice system.” An archive of Padila’s now-defunct campaign website highlighted the endorsement of Ocasio-Cortez.
According to a March expose published by The Queens Chronicle, the first-term Democrat is being accused of inappropriately touching a woman while she was heavily intoxicated and of indecent exposure to a second woman in a bathroom the same night in October 2015.
The embattled lawmaker admitted to misconduct and demanded a second chance.
“I fully take responsibility for my actions and I am committed to a process of accountability,” Ardila said in a statement released in March. “I want the public to know that I am deeply apologetic for my past behavior and acknowledge that my actions have caused great harm.”
Ardila tapped prominent attorney Stuart Slotnick to represent him amid the allegations and is being accused by Won of using attorneys to silence the alleged victims.
“What you are doing to these women is not OK — for you to intimidate them, harass them and silence them via your lawyer,” she said. “This is not OK.”
Following the accusations, several lawmakers called for Ardila’s resignation. Gov. Kathy Hochul, D-N.Y., is among those politicians demanding Ardila to step down. Hochul is unfamiliar with sexual misconduct scandals after she became governor amid the resignation of embattled ex-Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
Ocasio-Cortez, a self-proclaimed democratic-socialist, has not commented on Ardila’s sexual assault claims, focusing instead on demanding the resignation of conservative Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas over dubious leftist media attacks.
Editor’s Note (5/14/23): Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has since called for the resignation of Assemblyman Juan Ardila over sex assault allegations.