City council appoints women to parks committee after sex harassment scandal
By Rich Calder
June 13, 2019
A City Council committee overseeing the Big Apple’s parkland is finally getting female representation — but only after a Queens legislator resigned as chairman last month while admitting to sexually harassing a Council female staffer.
Councilwoman Carlina Rivera (D-Manhattan) and Councilman Adrienne Adams (D-Queens) will be added as members of the Council’s Parks and Recreation Committee, joining Councilman Peter Koo (D-Queens), who will take over a chairman.
Koo will replace Councilman Barry Grodenchik (D-Queens), who on May 14 admitted to sexually harassing a staffer for more than a year — giving her so many unwelcome hugs and kisses that she avoided meetings with him.
After Grodenchik stepped down, the committee was still left with eight members – all men.
Besides giving up his chairmanship, Grodenchik also agreed to undergo sexual harassment training at his own expense
Lynn Kelly, executive director of New Yorkers for Parks, said her parks watchdog group is “over the moon” that the committee finally has some female representation.
“This is big,” she said. “Now the committee actually represents the majority of the leadership of our city parks.”
The committee assignments were approved Tuesday morning by the Council’s Rules, Privileges and Elections committee. They’re expected to be ratified later in the day by the full Council.
With Koo being moved to the Parks Committee, Councilman Robert Holden (D-Queens) will be taking his place as chairman of the Council’s Technology Committee.
Councilwoman Karen Koslowitz (D-Queens), who chairs the Rules Committee, said Koo was selected to head the Parks Committee based on “seniority” and a desire to fill the post with another Queens legislator.