His ex-deputy chief-of-staff Rita Pasarell claimed only that she was working in a hostile environment, while co-plaintiff Leah Hebert said that, at most, he made inappropriate comments to her, a source said.
“Nothing was ever done to [Rita], nor did she ever claim that anything was ever done to her,” the source said.
But the Assembly got worried when celebrity lawyer Gloria Allred threatened to air all of Lopez’s dirty laundry to the media, the source said.
Hebert and Pasarell “initially sought $1.2M and reduced their settlement number only once (to $600,000) before we drew a hard-and-fast-line at salary/benefits from their continuing employment to May 30 . . . and damages,” Assembly majority counsel William Collins wrote in a May 20 e-mail to Deputy Attorney General Arlene Smoler and Deputy Comptroller Nancy Groenwegen.
It said that after “extensive mediations/negotiations, we appear to have successfully concluded our negotiations with both complainants for a total cash outlay for damages and attorney’s fees of $135,080.”
Most of the money, $103,080, came from the taxpayer-funded Assembly — and Lopez was forced to pay the remaining $32,000 out of his own pocket.
A source said Smoler “told them she thought it was incredibly important that the member in question pay [at least some of the money] himself.”
Hebert and Pasarell — who have refused to comment — agreed to resign, and their employment was terminated on June 7, the day the payout was invoiced to the Assembly.
Lopez’s lawyer, Gerald Lefcourt, declined to comment.
Soon after the payments, Pasarell — a lawyer who unsuccessfully accused an upstate county legislator of stalking her — started volunteering for two of Lopez’s political enemies in Brooklyn.
She campaigned for Jason Otano to unseat incumbent state Sen. Martin Dilan, a Lopez crony, sources said.
And a broadly smiling Pasarell appeared in a campaign flier for Brooklyn district leader Lincoln Restler, a nemesis of Lopez.
“It smells to high heaven,” said a source, referring to Pasarell’s alliance with Lopez’s political enemies.
Two other female staffers accused Lopez of harassing them a month after Pasarell and Hebert got their secret payout — including legislative assistant Chloe Rivera, 24, sources said. She could not be reached for comment.
Lopez, who was censured by Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver last week, has denied harassing any women.
Both Lopez and the Assembly denied any wrongdoing, while agreeing to the settlement, documents show.
Lopez, who didn’t want to settle with Hebert and Pasarell, had intially said “he would fight it alone,” a source said.
Lopez claims he was never alone in a room with Pasarell and never harassed her.
Lopez has “tons of text messages” from Hebert gushing about how much she loved working for him, the source said. But Hebert, 28, and Allred “threatened to go public” with their allegations, the source said, adding that Lopez viewed that threat as “blackmail.”
Silver and Assembly staff then leaned on Lopez to sign off on the deal, which he eventually did, the source said.
Lopez took out a loan for his $32,000 share, sources said.
Allred, who did not respond to questions about Pasarell and Hebert, blasted Silver for allegedly implying the women “sought only a settlement for financial gain and that they requested that no investigation occur.”
In 2008, while a law student in Albany, Pasarell accused local county legislator Brian Scavo of stalking her and making unwanted advances.
Scavo was arrested, but a judge dismissed the complaint a year later, saying the two alleged incidents did not rise to the level of stalking.
Scavo told The Post, “She was trying to shake me down for money . . . She smelled money.”
Outside her Brooklyn home, while walking her two dogs, Pasarell refused to answer any questions.
But when asked what she thought of Lopez, Pasarell grinned slyly, looked down at her pooches, and cooed, “Good dog.”