Community members call for independent investigation of Sen. Jeff Klein

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THE BRONX -

Several community activists in the Bronx called for a full independent investigation Friday into allegations of sexual misconduct against Sen. Jeff Klein.

Earlier this week, a former staffer named Erica Vladimer accused the senator of forcibly kissing her outside an Albany bar in the early spring of 2015. At the time, she was working for the Independent Democratic Conference, which the 57-year-old Klein leads.

While the senator has denied the allegations and has since hired a firm to conduct a preliminary investigation and interview staffers who were present at the time, those who spoke against him Friday argued that any woman who comes forward with allegations of sexual misconduct deserves to be heard and taken seriously.

The group of grass-roots activists and community members called for the governor to step in.

MORE: Sen. Klein denies claim that he forcibly kissed staffer

Meanwhile, more than a dozen female leaders who live in the community and have worked with the senator have sent letters of support.

Alessandra Biaggi, a former aide in Gov. Andrew Cuomo's office, announced Thursday that she will enter the fall primary for Klein's seat, tweeting, "His #timesup. I'm running against him."

Sen. Klein tells News 12 that he will welcome any investigation into the alleged incident.

AP wires contributed to this report.

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