Three influential Democratic senators led by Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg today denounced Assemblywoman Jean Stanfield for raising money off the brewing scandal at the state’s only women’s prison.
Weinberg said it was inappropriate serious allegations of beatings and sexual assaults of women inmates for partisan political advantage “and I find it rather disheartening,”
“While many of us are standing up to our own party leadership, I would suggest that Assemblywoman Jean Stanfield concentrate on the plight of the women we are together trying to protect, rather than introducing partisan politics into this serious endeavor,” Weinberg said.
Stanfield, a Republican challenging State Sen. Dawn Addiego in the 8th district, has emerged as one of the leading critics of Marcus Hicks, the state corrections commissioner, in the legislature. She introduced a resolution seeking to impeach Hicks, the state corrections for his handling – or failure to handle – incidents at the Edna Mahan facility.
While three Demcoratic assemblywomen joined Stanfield in sponsoring the impeachment resolution, the women senators took aim at the use of the issue as a fundraising tool.
“It’s problematic and disturbing when someone acts like they’re making a bipartisan effort meant to stop abuse against women, only to go raise money off it behind our backs,” said Senate Deputy Majority Leader Sandra Cunningham. “We didn’t sign on for that; we did it because the Commissioner needs to be held accountable.”
Senate Law and Public Safety Committee Chair Linda Greenstein labeled Stanfield’s fundraising as “grandstanding 101.”
“Women were repeatedly and violently abused, and we have continually called for immediate action,” Greenstein said. “A week later, the Assemblywoman has dismissed our concerns and has still shown no regret or remorse for her greed and opportunism.”