NYC council votes to suspend controversial councilman Andy King

NEW YORK (WABC) -- The New York City council voted to suspend a council member after allegations of improper use of his office, homophobic remarks and intimidating and retaliating against staff.

Councilmember Andy King, from the Bronx, allegedly created a culture of fear in his office.

On Monday, City Council Speaker Corey Johnson recommended a resolution suspending King, pending a City Council vote. The Council voted 44 to 1, with 2 abstentions, to suspend King.

King never apologized or admitted wrongdoing, but his fellow councilmembers called his conduct sickening and deplorable.

In a recent 48-page report, he was accused of conveniently holding a retreat in the Virgin Islands at the same time as his wife's daughter's wedding. He allegedly retaliated against staffers who cooperated in the probe.

He also reportedly made homophobic remarks comparing gay people in the Pride March to pedophiles.

"I am sickened by what they have endured because of councilmember King's odious behavior. As for Councilmember King, I deplore his cowardice and his disdain with which he treated his employees," Johnson said.

King has been elected three times which is why the Council refused to expel him permanently. Instead, he will face a 30-day suspension and a $15,000 fine.

The Council also approved an office monitor on King for after his suspension.

On Monday, councilmembers warned Bronx voters to not return him to office once again.

"And hopefully his constituency, if he ever decides to run for any kind of office again, his constituency sees what he has done and he is not fit to run for any kind of office," said councilmember Karen Koslowitz.

This issue is far from over. King is threatening to go to court and the Council has referred these ethical allegations to prosecutors --and criminal charges are possible.

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