Sam Hoyt Being Investigated For Alleged Sexual Harassment

Reportedly paid woman $50,000 to keep it private

Richard Root
November 01, 2017 - 2:48 am
Sam Hoyt



Buffalo, NY (WBEN) - On Monday, it was reported Sam Hoyt will leave his position with Empire State Development.  A reason for his departure wasn't given, until Tuesday when several media reported Hoyt is being investigated for alleged sexual harassment.

It is being reported that Hoyt reached a settlement with a female state employee back in 2016 over some sort of relationship. Allegedly, Hoyt paid $50,000 to keep the matter private.

Tuesday, Governor Andrew Cuomo's press secretary Dani Lever issued this statement:

“All state employees must act with integrity and respect. When the complainant made these allegations, they were immediately referred to the Governor’s Office of Employee Relations for an investigation.  At the same time Mr. Hoyt was instructed to have no further interaction with the complainant and to cooperate fully with the investigation.  Based on interviews and evidence reviewed, GOER identified information that warranted further review by the Inspector General’s Office and referred the matter accordingly. The IG conducted its own investigation, during which repeated attempts to interview the complainant were unsuccessful and the matter was referred to JCOPE for investigation.  With the investigation still pending, Mr. Hoyt separated from state service.”

JCOPE is the Joint Commission on Public Ethics.  According to their website, they help "those in public service understand their ethical obligations, ensuring transparency through rigorous public reporting disclosures, and providing accountability through enforcement actions to address ethical misconduct."

According to WIVB, the state began a formal investigation in January of this year.

Hoyt issued this statement on the matter through his attorney:

“I have made many mistakes in my life. Having a short term, consensual and inappropriate relationship with [complainant] was wrong and something I regret.  When I attempted to end the relationship, she threatened me. At that point, over a year ago, my wife and I agreed to a settlement to avoid public embarrassment to our family.”

WIVB claims to be in possession of emails between the woman and Hoyt that detail the nature of the harassment allegations. 

The woman reportedly told WIVB “He helped me get an apartment, and he also got a position for me in the state, in a confidential management position, which I didn’t even interview for." She also asked Hoyt to stop contacting her.

Hoyt was a Western New York representative in the Assembly for nearly two decades before taking the job with Empire State Development in 2011.

Hoyt in 2008, Hoyt was prohibited from participating in any student intern program after being disciplined by the Assembly for an inappropriate relationship with an intern.

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