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A former staffer has come forward to accuse Democratic New York state Sen. Jeff Klein of forcibly kissing her in 2015.

In an exclusive interview with HuffPost, 30-year-old Erica Vladimer said Klein “shoved his tongue” down her throat at a bar. A month after the incident, Vladimer says she left her job working for Klein.

“The fact that there was an environment that could make me doubt the self-confidence that I worked so hard to have ― that I got from the strong women in my life ― made me feel like it wasn’t the place for me,” Vladimer said of her decision to leave. “And that maybe the government wasn’t for me.”

Klein “unequivocally” denied the accusation in a statement to HuffPost provided by his lawyer.

Vladimer worked for the New York Senate from 2013 to 2015, first as a fellow, then as a policy analyst and counsel for the Independent Democratic Conference, reporting directly to Klein’s deputy chief of staff. Klein leads the IDC, and Vladimer said she worked with him on education budgets and volunteered for his 2014 campaign.

“It was very professional,” Vladimer said of her time working with Klein. Read more

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A former staffer has come forward to accuse Democratic New York state Sen. Jeff Klein of forcibly kissing her in 2015.

In an exclusive interview with HuffPost, 30-year-old Erica Vladimer said Klein “shoved his tongue” down her throat at a bar. A month after the incident, Vladimer says she left her job working for Klein.

“The fact that there was an environment that could make me doubt the self-confidence that I worked so hard to have ― that I got from the strong women in my life ― made me feel like it wasn’t the place for me,” Vladimer said of her decision to leave. “And that maybe the government wasn’t for me.”

Klein “unequivocally” denied the accusation in a statement to HuffPost provided by his lawyer.

Vladimer worked for the New York Senate from 2013 to 2015, first as a fellow, then as a policy analyst and counsel for the Independent Democratic Conference, reporting directly to Klein’s deputy chief of staff. Klein leads the IDC, and Vladimer said she worked with him on education budgets and volunteered for his 2014 campaign.

“It was very professional,” Vladimer said of her time working with Klein