BROOKLYN - Assemblyman Vito Lopez resigned this morning after being accused of sexually harassing young female staffers.

Lopez says he is stepping down before he's expelled from the Legislature. He made the announcement on Saturday in a letter.

Initially, Lopez said he would resign at the end of the legislative session on June 20 to run for New York City Council. But Lopez was facing possible expulsion from the Legislature because of the allegations.

Two reports released last week detailed accusations of sexual harassment by several women on his staff, but neither report indicates proof of a crime. Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver says he was trying to expel Lopez on the basis of violating policies against sexual harassment and retaliation.

Lopez has denied any wrongdoing and says he may run for New York City Council this year.