Sexual misconduct in state capitols (2017-2018)

Posted by Jimmy Minnish on March 11, 2018 under Links | Be the First to Comment

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Sexual misconduct in American politics


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Overview
State-level misconduct
Timeline
Reporting process – Congress
Al Franken resignation
Minnesota Senate special election

Last updated March 7, 2018
Starting in October 2017, stories of sexual misconduct in state capitols emerged following a rising tide of media coverage triggered by sexual harassment allegations against Hollywood film producer Harvey Weinstein.[1][2][3] A Glamour Magazinearticle tracking sexual harassment allegations that were brought to light following the Weinstein allegations described it as having “sparked an avalanche of accusations against high-profile men in media, politics, Silicon Valley, and Hollywood, all with varying degrees of repercussions.”[4]

In January 2018, the Associated Press found that, in the last months of 2017, about three-fourths of state legislatures had at least one of its chambers update its sexual harassment policies.[5] See this article to learn more about what the AP report found.

On this page, Ballotpedia tracks sexual misconduct allegations against state officials as well as organized campaigns and official responses to sexual misconduct in state capitols that arose in the aftermath of the Weinstein reports. Organized campaigns are mobilizations of members of state capitol communities due to sexual misconduct allegations. An example would be an open letter signed by community members who were impacted by sexual misconduct. Official responses are actions taken by authority figures in state capitols in response to sexual misconduct allegations. Examples include investigations of allegations or changes in sexual misconduct policies.

We also track retirements and resignations of state legislators related to the increased news coverage of sexual misconduct starting in October 2017. We give the allegations context by reviewing the Weinstein storyline, presenting an overview of sexual harassment policies in state capitols, and detailing notable instances of sexual misconduct in state legislatures that occurred before October 2017.

See the state-level special elections resulting from retirements, resignations, or deaths related to sexual misconduct allegations by clicking here.

To see our page on responses to sexual misconduct allegations across all levels of American politics, click here.

Click here to see a timeline of events related to sexual misconduct at the federal and state levels of government since October 2017.

If you know of any examples of organized campaigns, official responses, or state government officials leaving their positions due to sexual misconduct allegations that should be posted here, please email editor@ballotpedia.org.

Resignations, expulsions, and deaths

Alaska

  • State Rep. Dean Westlake (D): On December 15, 2017, Westlake announced that he would resign from the House due to sexual misconduct allegations against him. In his resignation letter, Westlake said, “As recent allegations of my behavior have superseded discussions about my constituents, my ability to serve them has been diminished.” At the time of his resignation, Westlake had been accused of sexual harassment by seven women. He said his actions in those situations were not meant to be offensive. Shortly after Westlake’s announcement, Anchorage TV station KTUU released a report claiming that, in 1988, Westlake, then 28 years old, fathered a child with a 16-year-old.

Arizona

  • State Rep. Don Shooter (R): On February 1, 2018, Shooter was expelled from the Arizona House of Representatives by a 56-3 vote. His expulsion came after he sent a letter to fellow members saying that an investigative report into sexual harassment allegations against him ignored the actions of another unnamed member. House Speaker J.D. Mesnard (R) said the letter amounted to intimidation and retaliation, and he moved for Shooter’s expulsion. The investigative report was ordered by Mesnard in November 2017 after multiple women, starting with state Rep. Michelle Ugenti-Rita (R), accused Shooter of sexually harassing them. Before his eventual expulsion, Shooter had been removed as chairman of the House Appropriations Committee and had been removed from his other committee assignments.

California

  • State Sen. Tony Mendoza (D): On February 22, 2018, Mendoza resigned from office. Two days prior a report had found that he likely engaged in six instances of sexual harassment. He was possibly going to face expulsion from the chamber. The first allegations against Mendoza came out in November 2017. He either denied the claims against him or said that they did not warrant expulsion or removal from office. He also said the Senate did not treat him fairly during the process and that he was forced to leave due to state Senate Pro Tempore Kevin de Leon’s (D) desire to appease Democratic activists during his run for the U.S. Senate seat held by Dianne Feinstein (D). Mendoza and de Leon were previously roommates.
  • State Assemblyman Matt Dababneh (D): On December 8, 2017, Debabneh announced that he was resigning from office effective January 1, 2018. He had been accused four days earlier by two women of sexual misconduct. One of the women, lobbyist Pamela Lopez, filed a formal complaint against Dabaneh and held a news conference where she publicly named him. She alleged that in January 2016, Dababneh exposed himself and masturbated in front of her. She was joined at the news conference by Jessica Yas Barker, who claimed that Dababneh harassed her while they both worked in the office of Congressman Brad Sherman (D). Assembly Rules Committee Chairman Ken Cooley(D) said the Assembly would refer Lopez’s complaint to an outside investigator.[6][7][8]
Dababneh said in a statement, “To be absolutely clear, the allegations made against me are not true. However, due to the current environment, I, unfortunately, no longer believe I can serve my district effectively, as I have done for the last four years.”[9]
  • State Assemblyman Raul Bocanegra (D): Bocanegra announced his retirement at the end of his legislative term on November 20, 2017, citing sexual harassment allegations against him. On November 17, the Los Angeles Times contacted Bocanegra’s office regarding a story it was preparing to publish accusing him of sexually harassing six women. In October 2017, the Times reported that Bocanegra was disciplined in an investigation for “inappropriate and unwelcome physical contact” with a female staff member at the capitol. In a statement, Bocanegra said, “It was a moment that I truly regret, that I am very sorry for, and for which I have accepted responsibility for my actions. These news reports have since fueled persistent rumors and speculation, and I do not believe that this is in the best interest of my constituents to continue to serve next term.”[10] Speaker Anthony Rendon (D) stated that he would move to expel Bocanegra if an official investigation affirmed the allegations against him.[11]
On November 27, Bocanegra announced that he had reconsidered and resigned his position immediately. In his resignation statement he said, “I sincerely hope that my decision to resign immediately does not embolden those who are using this serious problem in our society to advance their own personal political gain, rather it is my hope that this action can instead help to widen the doors for victims of sexual assault and workplace harassment to find justice and solace.” He also said, “…it is my hope that in taking this action we can help clear the path so that women and men who have been truly victims of sexual assault and workplace harassment can step forward and get justice for any crimes committed against them. While I am not guilty of any such crimes, I am admittedly not perfect.”[12]

Colorado

  • State Rep. Steve Lebsock (D): Lebsock was expelled from the Colorado House of Representative on March 2, 2018, by a 52-9 vote. His removal from the chamber came after an investigatory report into 11 allegations of sexual misconduct against Lebsock, including allegations brought by state Rep. Faith Winter (D), found them to be credible. Before the vote to expel Lebsock occurred, he switched his partisan affiliation from Democratic to Republican. Lebsock denied the allegations against him.

Connecticut

  • State Rep. Angel Arce (D): Arce resigned from office on March 7, 2018. He had been accused of sending inappropriate Facebook messages to a 16-year old girl. Arce did not say whether he sent the messages or not, but he did say he was familiar with the girl, who was 18 at the time the allegations were reported. Among the messages he allegedly sent to the woman, who disclosed them to the Hartford Courant, were, “Good night love and sweet dreams and thank you for coming into my life,”; “I wish you were living in Hartford. We be hanging out all the times”; “You so beautiful and gorgeous”; and, “Really hun trust I think we going to keep a lot of secrets between us.”
In his resignation statement, he said, “I do not want my presence to be a distraction to the very important work that occurs at the capitol and on the town committee every day. I also do not want my family, friends and supporters to be burdened in any way.”

Florida

  • State Sen. Jeff Clemens (D): Clemens resigned from the Florida State Senate on October 27, 2017, following his public admission that he had had an affair with a lobbyist. Clemens sent a statement to Politico that said, “I have made mistakes I am ashamed of, and for the past six months I have been focused on becoming a better person. But it is clear to me that task is impossible to finish while in elected office. The process won’t allow it, and the people of Florida deserve better. All women deserve respect, and by my actions, I feel I have failed that standard. I have to do better.” Florida state House Speaker Richard Corcoran (R) released the following statement about Clemens’ resignation: “The facts here raise a very real question of sexual harassment. I’m disappointed in the response of the senators who were aware of the situation. Rather than addressing the wrongdoing, they seem to have formed a wall of silence. An apology is not the same thing as accountability.”[13]
  • State Sen. Jack Latvala (R): Latvala announced his resignation from the Florida State Senate on December 20, 2017, with his effective resignation date on January 5, 2018. His resignation came after an independent investigation by former Judge Ronald Swanson suggested that he could face criminal charges related to alleged sexual harassment. The report also detailed allegations that Latvala asked a female lobbyist for sexual favors in exchange for supporting her legislation. In his resignation statement, Latvala denied the allegations against him and said that he disapproved of the process used in his investigation.[14]
  • Public Service Commission appointee Ritch Workman (R): On December 4, 2017, Workman withdrew from a position on the Public Service Commission that Gov. Rick Scott (R) had appointed him to on September 15. His resignation came after state Sen. Lizbeth Benacquisto (R) released a statement saying that he had made inappropriate gestures to her at a public event.[15]

Kentucky

  • State Rep. Dan Johnson (R): Johnson committed suicide on December 13, 2017. He had been accused of molesting a 17-year old girl who attended the church where he served as a pastor in a December 11 report by the Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting and was facing calls from legislative leaders in both parties to resign. Johnson denied the allegations in a press conference on December 12. In a Facebook post he wrote shortly before his death, Johnson again denied the allegations.

Minnesota

  • State Rep. Tony Cornish (R): Cornish announced his resignation from the Minnesota House of Representatives on November 21, 2017. He had been accused of sexual misconduct by multiple women, including state Rep. Maye Quade (D) and lobbyist Sarah Walker. Cornish had been facing an investigation due to the allegations. In the statement announcing his resignation, Cornish apologized for his behavior. His resignation was prompted by a deal he reached with Walker where he agreed to resign, apologize, and pay her legal fees.[16]
  • State Sen. Dan Schoen (D): Schoen announced his resignation from the Minnesota State Senate on November 21, 2017. He had been accused of sexual misconduct by state Rep. Maye Quade (D), former Democratic state House candidate Lindsey Port, and a Minnesota state Senate staffer. At the time his resignation was announced, Schoen denied the allegations against him. According to his attorney, Schoen resigned because the allegations would have prevented him from being an effective legislator.[16]

Mississippi

  • State Rep. John Moore (R): Moore resigned his seat in the state legislature on December 8, 2017, citing health concerns. On December 11, House Speaker Philip Gunn (R) said that Moore had been facing multiple allegations of sexual misconduct at the time of his resignation. He said the House Ethics Committee would have investigated the allegations had Moore remained in office. Gunn said he could speak to Moore’s cited reasons for his resignation. Gunn did not discuss specific allegations. On December 11, Moore said he was aware of the allegations when he resigned, but they were not the reason for his departure.

Nebraska

  • Supreme Court Judge Max Kelch: Kelch announced his resignation on January 23, 2018, saying in a letter to Gov. Pete Ricketts (R), “After much deliberation, I have decided it is best for my family to submit my resignation.”[17] Following his announcement, the Omaha World-Herald reported that his departure was related to sexual misconduct. It published a report on February 6, where two unnamed officials said that the allegations against Kelch were related to the national #MeToo movement that was drawing more attention to allegations of sexual misconduct. The World-Herald also interview two unnamed women who said that Kelch had made sexually suggestive remarks to them in the past.

Ohio

  • State Sen. Cliff Hite (R): Hite resigned from the Ohio State Senate on October 16, 2017. On October 18, 2017, he released a statement on Twitter saying his resignation was related to both health issues and what he called “inappropriate behavior” with a legislative staffer.[18] On October 28, 2017, the Associated Press reported that the director of the Ohio Legislative Service Commission had written a memo detailing allegations of sexual harassment against Hite from August to October in 2017. Following the memo’s release, Hite issued a statement saying that it contained inaccuracies.[19]
  • State Rep. Wes Goodman (R): Goodman resigned from the Ohio House of Representatives on November 14, 2017, after he was confronted by state House leaders with allegations that he had consensual sex with a man in his state office. On November 20, the Independent Journal Reviewreported that over multiple men had accused Goodman of sending them unsolicited sexually suggestive messages and that one man said Goodman groped him while he was sleeping.

Oregon

  • State Sen. Jeff Kruse (R): Kruse announced that he would resign from the Oregon Senate at the end of the 2018 legislative session after an investigatory report found evidence that he had engaged in a pattern of sexual misconduct during his time in the legislature. Two female state senators filed formal complaints against him. Kruse denied the allegations against him.

Wyoming

  • Secretary of State Ed Murray (R): Murray resigned from his position on February 9, 2018. Before his resignation, he had faced two sexual assault allegations. One allegation came from a woman who interned at his law office in 1982. She said Murray sexually assaulted her in the workplace. The other came from a woman who worked as a babysitter for Murray’s family in 1988. She said that Murray forcibly kissed her when she was leaving his house. In a statement, he said, “After deep and profound contemplation, I am announcing my resignation as secretary of state, effective today. I step aside with peace and serenity in order that I may fully focus on what is most important in my life: my marriage, my family and my health.”

Electoral impact of sexual misconduct

Retirements

The following members who were accused of sexual misconduct did not seek re-election in 2018.

[hide]Retirements of members accused of sexual misconduct
State Incumbent Incumbent party 2016 election result Result of general election
Kentucky State Rep. Brian E. Linder R Won by 51.2 points Pending
Kentucky State Rep. Jim DeCesare R Unopposed Pending

Primary elections

The following incumbents accused of sexual misconduct faced one or more challengers in their 2018 primary.

[hide]Primary elections for members accused of sexual misconduct
State Primary election date Incumbent Incumbent party Previous primary result Challenger(s) in 2018 Result
Illinois March 20, 2018 State Sen. Ira Silverstein D Unopposed 4 Pending
Kentucky May 22, 2018 State Rep. Michael Meredith R Unopposed 1 Pending

Special elections

Special elections were called to replace some of the members whose seats became vacant.

[hide]Special elections related to sexual misconduct
State Special election date Previous incumbent Incumbent party Replacement Replacement party
California June 5, 2018 State Asm. Matt Dababneh D Pending Pending
California June 5, 2018 State Asm. Raul Bocanegra D Pending Pending
Florida April 10, 2018 State Sen. Jeff Clemens D Pending Pending
Florida Pending State Sen. Jack Latvala R Pending Pending
Kentucky February 20, 2018 State Rep. Dan Johnson R Linda Belcher D
Mississippi February 20, 2018[20] State Rep. John Moore R Pending Pending
Minnesota February 12, 2018 State Sen. Dan Schoen D Karla Bigham D
Minnesota February 12, 2018 State Rep. Tony Cornish R Jeremy Munson R

Appointments

In Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, and Ohio, replacements of the same party are appointed rather than selected in special elections.

[hide]Appointments related to sexual misconduct
State Previous incumbent Replacement Party of both members
Alaska State Rep. Dean Westlake John Lincoln D
Arizona State Rep. Don Shooter Pending R
Colorado State Rep. Steve Lebsock Pending D[21]
Ohio State Sen. Cliff Hite Robert McColley R
Ohio State Rep. Don Shooter Riordan McClain R

Reaction in state capitols

Overview

This map shows the states in which there have been sexual misconduct allegations against state officials as well as organized campaigns and official responses to allegations of sexual misconduct.

Alaska

On November 9, 2017, Juneau Empire reported that state Sen. David Wilson (R) had put his cellphone between the legs of a female staffer while she was wearing a skirt. The report of the incident came firsthand from an Empire reporter. The staffer did not bring a formal accusation and Wilson denied that he engaged in misconduct.[22]

On November 21, the Alaska Legislative Council met in a closed-door session to discuss forming a working group that could examine sexual misconduct policies in the state legislature.[23]

On November 30, members of the state House and state Senate were appointed to the Sexual and Other Workplace Harassment Policy Subcommittee. The committee was formed to review sexual harassment policies and recommend updates. It was set to operate underneath the Legislative Council. Its chair was set to be the state legislature’s human resources manager and its membership was to consist of three representatives and three senators. The subcommittee was scheduled to issue a report by January 2018.[24]

On December 6, former House staffer Olivia Garrett told news outlets that she had been harassed by state Rep. Dean Westlake (D) in 2017 on two separate occasions. She wrote a letter to House Speaker Bryce Edgmon (D) and House Majority Leader Chris Tuck (D) in March 2017 detailing the incidents. A Westlake staffer said he was undergoing surgery and could not comment.[25]

Also on December 6, Speaker Edgmon announced that all legislative employees, including members, would be required to undergo sexual harassment training at the beginning of each legislative session.[26]

Westlake released a statement on December 7 that said, “I firmly believe that everyone deserves a safe, healthy and professional working environment. I sincerely apologize if an encounter with me has made anyone uncomfortable. That has certainly never been my intent.”

Also on December 7, Sen. David Wilson held a press conference where he said that an unreleased video of the alleged incident showed that he did not engage in misconduct. He said that he wanted an on-air apology from KTVA after one of its reporters, Liz Raines, reported the incident. He also called on House Speaker Bryce Edgmon (D) and House Rules Chairwoman Gabrielle LeDoux to step down from their leadership positions for allowing the allegations to continue. Edgmon said in a statement, “Sen. Wilson crossed the line of appropriate behavior by using a press conference to chastise individuals who came forward as witnesses to an alleged incident of harassment.”[27]

On December 8, the Anchorage Daily News reported that additional six women, all of whom had served as legislative aides at the state capitol, had accused Westlake of sexual misconduct. Except for Olivia Garrett, none of the accusers were identified. The women said that Westlake made sexual advances on them, touched them, or made inappropriate comments about them. Four of the alleged incidents occurred after Olivia Garrett’s March 2017 letter to party leaders about Westlake’s behavior.[28]

Edgmon and Alaska Democratic Party Chair Casey Steinau said that Westlake should resign. A Westlake aide said that he did not wish to comment on the matter.[29]

On December 12, Westlake released a statement saying he would not resign from the state House and that his actions were not meant to be offensive.[30]

On December 12, a report from the Legislative Affairs Agency cleared Wilson of wrongdoing in the alleged incident, finding that he did not place his phone between the legs of a female staffer, as had originally been reported.[31]

On December 15, Westlake announced that he would resign from office. In his resignation letter, Westlake said, “As recent allegations of my behavior have superseded discussions about my constituents, my ability to serve them has been diminished.” Shortly after Westlake’s announcement, Anchorage TV station KTUU released a report claiming that, in 1988, Westlake, then 28 years old, fathered a child with a 16-year-old.[32]

On January 15, 2018, the Alaska Legislature’s human resources manager told the House Rules Committee that Speaker Edgmon and Majority Leader Tuck followed the correct protocols when responding to sexual harassment allegations against Dean Westlake.[33]

On January 31, state Senate leaders disciplined Sen. David Wilson for the press conference he held in December where he denied the sexual misconduct allegations against him and said the video proved that he was innocent. The disciplinary actions included restrictions on Wilson’s travel, a probationary period, and an individual training course on retaliation.[34]

Arizona

On October 19, 2017, state Rep. Michelle Ugenti-Rita (R) posted a letter on Twitter saying she had been sexually harassed by male legislators. She did not identify the legislators.[35]

On October 30, 2017, Arizona House Speaker J.D. Mesnard (R) emailed a new sexual harassment policy to representatives and legislative staffers. According to Matt Specht, a spokesman for the Arizona House Republicans, the policy emailed out by Mesnard was the first one the state House had adopted. The state Senate adopted a sexual harassment policy in 2005.[36]

On November 8, Mesnard began investigations into claims of sexual misconduct at the state Capitol. Complaints of sexual harassment were levied against state Rep. Don Shooter (R). Shooter’s accusers included Ugenti-Rita, who made the accusation public in a November 6 Tweet, state Rep. Wenona Benally (D) and state Rep. Athena Salman (D).[37] In a statement denying Ugenti-Rita’s allegations, Shooter said that she had had an inappropriate relationship with a staffer.

Mesnard appointed a panel of seven House staffers to investigate the allegations against Shooter as well as the allegations of Ugenti-Rita having an inappropriate relationship with a staffer.[38][39]

On November 10, Mesnard removed Shooter as the chairman of the House Appropriations Committeeahead of an investigation into claims of sexual harassment against him. According to Tucson.com, at least seven women—three legislators, three lobbyists, and a newspaper publisher—claimed Shooter had harassed them.[40]

On November 15, the committee charged with investigating the sexual harassment complaints hired lawyer Craig Morgan to assist them.[41]

On January 9, the second day of the 2018 Arizona legislative session, Shooter apologized for the actions that led to allegations of sexual misconduct against him. He said, “I am sorry for the distraction and strain that this matter and the subsequent investigation have caused all of you. I don’t want to go one more day without apologizing and honoring all of you by not only saying, ‘I’m sorry,’ but by doing better.” He said the first allegation against him was not true, but that the later allegations were. He said, “[the first] complaint was followed by a number of additional complaints, the majority of which were sincere and which exposed me to the knowledge that my actions were not always received as intended, and that worse still, they caused genuine discomfort or pain.”[42]

On January 30, House Speaker Mesnard released a report on sexual harassment that concluded there was evidence that Shooter violated the House’s sexual harassment policy. It did not find evidence that Ugenti-Rita violated the policy. After it was released, Mesnard permanently removed Shooter from his committee positions and said he would introduce a resolution of censure against him.

Shooter released a statement saying that he looked forward to rebuilding his relationships and continuing to serve as a representative.[43]

On February 1, Shooter sent a letter to members of the state House saying that the report had ignored allegations against another member of the chamber who he did not name.

After Shooter sent the letter, Speaker Mesnard addressed the chamber and moved for Shooter’s expulsion. He said the letter “represents a clear act of retaliation and intimidation, and yet another violation of the House’s harassment policy.” The state House voted 56-3 to expel Shooter.[44]

After the vote, Shooter said, ” I’ve had two, three months to think about this. I did wrong, I deserve a censure. But I’ll tell you this. I was sent here by the people of District 13. And to the best of my knowledge, I’ve never betrayed that trust, never, never. Not for monkey business, not for contributions, not for influence, not for power, not for anything.”[45]

California

On October 17, 2017, more than 140 women signed an open letter alleging that sexual misconduct commonly occurred at the California State Capitol and that the men responsible for the behavior were usually not punished. The signees included six of the 26 women serving in the California Legislature as of October 2017 as well as two retired legislators, lobbyists, political consultants, and state officials from the Democratic and Republican parties.[46] The letter continued to gain signatures after it was released on October 17.

Read the full letter here.

On October 23, 2017, some of the women who signed the letter announced they had formed the nonprofit organization We Said Enough to address sexual harassment policy at the California State Capitol.[47]

Also on October 23, 2017, state Senate President Pro Tempore Kevin de Leon (D) announced that his chamber would hire two outside firms to investigate sexual harassment and sexual assault. The law firm of Amy Oppenheimer was hired to investigate specific incidents while the firm CPS HR Consulting was hired to review the state Senate’s sexual harassment policies. Adama Iwu, a lobbyist for Visa and one of the early backers of the open letter, expressed opposition to the hiring of the firms. According to her, the allegations needed “a truly independent investigation, not a secretly hand-picked self-investigation.”[48]

On October 24, 2017, state Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon (D), Asm. Ken Cooley (D), and Asm. Laura Friedman (D) released a joint statement announcing that the Assembly’s Subcommittee on Harassment, Discrimination, and Retaliation Prevention and Response would hold public hearings on allegations of sexual harassment and assault at the state Capitol. Adama Iwu also expressed reservations about these hearings. She said that victims who testify might not be protected from retaliation and that an independent public review offering protections for whistleblowers would be preferable.[49]

The state Assembly hearings on sexual misconduct occurred on November 28, 2017.[50]

On November 9, the Sacramento Bee reported that state Sen. Tony Mendoza (D) had invited a female staffer—who was temporarily under his supervision and seeking a full-time job—into his home after a party at a nightclub. The report also said that two Senate aides who reported his behavior with the women to the Senate Rules Committee staff were fired afterward. State Senate officials denied that there was a connection between the firings and the allegations of inappropriate behavior.

When asked by the Bee about his behavior with the woman, Mendoza said that he would offer assistance to any person seeking employment in the Senate and that he would never knowingly abuse his power or make a female employee uncomfortable.[51]

Later on November 9, Senate Secretary Danny Alvarez said allegations that Mendoza acted inappropriately were being investigated internally.[52]

On November 12, state Sen. de Leon announced that sexual abuse complaints would be handled in the future by an independent legal team rather than the Senate Rules Committee.[53]

On November 20, Assemblyman Raul Bocanegra (D) announced that he would resign at the end of the 2018 legislative session due to sexual misconduct allegations against him. On November 17, the Los Angeles Times informed Bocanegra that it was a running a report where six women alleged he had sexually harassed them. Assembly Speaker Rendon said that he was removing Bocanegra from his position as majority whip and all committee assignments. He also said that he would move to expel Bocanegra from the chamber if an independent investigation affirmed the allegations against him.[54] On November 27, Bocanegra announced that he had reconsidered and would resign effective immediately.[12]

Also on November 27, the Senate Rules Committee voted to strip Sen. Tony Mendoza of his chairmanship of the Senate Banking and Financial Institutions Committee and his positions on the state Commission for Economic Development and the California Workforce Development Fund, pending an investigation into the sexual misconduct allegations against him. In response, Mendoza said, “I understand the Rules Committee’s decision to relieve me from the committee chairmanship to remove any perception of bias during its investigation of the unsubstantiated allegations against me.”[55]

On November 28, the Assembly’s Subcommittee on Harassment, Discrimination, and Retaliation Prevention and Response held a public hearing on sexual misconduct at the state capitol. The committee heard testimony from women who said they had been sexually harassed, state Democratic Party officials such as Christine Pelosi, and administrators responsible for tracking sexual misconduct claims at the state capitol. During the hearing, subcommittee chairwoman Laura Friedman (D) said she had come to believe that the state legislature could not enforce its own policies or conduct its own investigations and would need outside assistance.[56]

On November 29, state Sen. Andy Vidak (R) sent a public letter to Kevin de Leon asking the state Senate to consider a bill he said would protect whistleblowers. According to Vidak, de Leon and state Sen. Ricardo Lara (D) had been blocking the whistleblower bill for four years and this had enabled sexual misconduct in the state legislature.[57]

On December 4, Assemblyman Matt Dababneh (D) was accused of sexual misconduct by two women. One of the women, lobbyist Pamela Lopez, filed a formal complaint against Dabaneh and held a news conference where she publicly named him. She alleged that, in January 2016, Dababneh exposed himself and masturbated in front of her. She said the incident occurred at a celebration at a Las Vegas hotel after he followed her into a single-use bathroom She had described the allegations in October, but she did not name Dababneh at that time. She was joined at the news conference by Jessica Yas Barker, who claimed that Dababneh harassed her while they both worked in the office of Congressman Brad Sherman (D).

In response to the allegations, Dababneh released a statement that said, “I affirmatively deny that this event ever happened — at any time. I am saddened by this lobbyist’s effort to create this falsehood and make these inflammatory statements, apparently for her own self-promotion and without regard to the reputation of others. I look forward to clearing my name.” On December 1, Dababneh’s lawyer sent a cease-and-desist letter to Lopez that said he would pursue damages if she held the press conference.

After Lopez described her allegations in October, Assembly Speaker Rendon said, “If we learn that the individual involved is a member of the Assembly, we will contract with an outside firm so there can be an independent investigation. If he is found to have committed this assault, I will ask for his immediate resignation and move for his expulsion if he refuses to resign.” On December 4, Rendon’s office said he stood by his earlier statement and that Dababneh was stepping down as chairman of the Assembly Banking and Finance Committee.[58]

Assembly Rules Committee Chairman Ken Cooley (D) said the Assembly would refer Lopez’s complaint to an outside investigator.[59][60]

On December 8, Dababneh announced that he was resigning from office effective January 1, 2018. “To be absolutely clear, the allegations made against me are not true. However, due to the current environment, I, unfortunately, no longer believe I can serve my district effectively, as I have done for the last four years,” he said in a statement.[9]

On December 14, the Los Angeles Times reported that three additional women had accused Dababneh of sexual misconduct. One of the women said that she had non-consensual sex with him on multiple occasions. The other women said that Dababneh made sexual advances on them or inappropriate comments. Of the allegations, Dababneh said, “These allegations are false and I’m confident that when all the facts are in, it will clearly show that these claims are not true.”[61]

Also on December 14, California Senate Pro Tempore Kevin de Leon (D) said Tony Mendoza should take a leave of absence from the Senate while misconduct claims against him were being investigated. Mendoza released a statement saying that he would not leave the Senate.[62]

On January 3, 2018, the Sacramento Bee reported that Adriana Ruelas, Mendoza’s former legislative director, filed a discrimination complaint against Mendoza and the California State Senate. In the complaint, she said that she and two other staffers were fired in retaliation for reporting sexual misconduct against Mendoza.[63]

Also on January 3, Mendoza agreed to take a one-month paid leave of absence from the California State Senate. He said that he would return on either February 1 or when the investigation into his conduct concluded (whichever comes first). Mendoza’s announcement came after a closed-door session with Senate Democrats. According to the Los Angeles Times, they were considering expelling Mendoza.[64]

On January 25, the state Senate Rules Committee unanimously voted to extend Mendoza’s leave of absence by up to 60 days or when the investigation into his actions concluded. Mendoza said, “I am disappointed at the Senate’s action today. The ad-hoc action today is now part of the pattern that contradicts the Senate’s commitment to reform and to an open, transparent and fair process as its action today was adopted without any notice to me.”[65]

On February 2, the California Legislature released details on 18 alleged cases of sexual harassment involving state legislators and senior staffers that occurred from 2006 through 2017. The released cases involved incidents where “discipline has been imposed or allegations have been determined to be well-founded.” The legislators named in the incidents were Assemblyman Travis Allen (R), Assemblywoman Autumn Burke (D) state Sen. Bob Hertzberg (D), state Sen. Tony Mendoza (D), and former Assemblyman Raul Bocanegra (D).[66]

On February 8, the Washington Post and Politico reported that Assemblywoman Cristina Garcia (D), a high profile figure in the late 2017 response to sexual misconduct, was being investigated for the harassment of former staffer Daniel Fierro. Fierro said that Garcia attempted to grope him in 2014 while she was inebriated at the Assembly’s annual softball game. He reported the alleged incident in January 2018 and it was referred to the Assembly Rules Committee for investigation.[67]

In response to the allegations, Garcia said, “Every complaint about sexual harassment should be taken seriously and I will participate fully in any investigation that takes place. The details of these claims have never been brought to my attention until today. I can confirm that I did attend the 2014 legislative softball game with a number of members and my staff. I can also say I have zero recollection of engaging in inappropriate behavior and such behavior is inconsistent with my values.”

Politico also reported that an unnamed male lobbyist was alleging that Garcia attempted to grope him in May 2017. He did not report the alleged incident.[68]

On February 9, 2018, Garcia announced that she was taking unpaid leave from her position in the Assembly while the investigation into the allegations took place.[69]

On February 15, Politico reported that four former Garcia employees were claiming that she kept alcohol in her Assembly office and regularly talked about her sex life, including saying, “having sex with other elected officials was a good way of getting information.” They also said that Garcia required them to assist with her personal tasks at times, such as taking care of her pets.

In response, Garcia said, “I am confident I have consistently treated my staff fairly and respectfully. In a fast-paced legislative office, not everyone is the right fit for every position and I do understand how a normal employment decision could be misinterpreted.”[70]

On February 18, Politico reported that former Garcia staffer David John Kernick had filed a formal complaint with the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing claiming that he was fired from his job in retaliation for questioning the appropriateness of an alleged incident where Garcia asked a group of staffers to play the kissing game Spin the Bottle while they were intoxicated. Kernick said the game never occurred after Garcia suggested it. He also said that Garcia wrote him up for insubordination after he brought the alleged incident up with her and then fired him two days later.[71]

On February 19, a letter from Kernick’s personnel file signed by former Garcia Chief of Staff Tim Reardon was leaked around the state capitol. Reardon had previously criticized Kernick. Kernick’s attorney accused Reardon of leaking the letter, a charge which Reardon denied. In response to the leaked letter, Christine Pelosi, the legal counsel for #WeSaidEnough, said, “Obviously, it’s improper. It’s a violation of privacy, and it does nothing to counter the narrative for a boss that was accused of being very vindictive. In fact, it seems to confirm it…Whoever thought they were helping Cristina Garcia did her no favors.”[72]

On February 20, a state Senate report into Sen. Tony Mendoza’s conduct, which was compiled by outside legal firms, was released. It found that it was more likely than not that Mendoza had behaved in “a flirtatious or sexually suggestive manner toward staffers” as an assemblyman from 2006 to 2012 and as a senator from 2014 to 2017. Six women–four of whom were staffers, interns, or fellows–said they “personally experienced unwanted flirtatious or sexually suggestive behavior by Mendoza.” None of the women said that Mendoza said they had a sexual relationship with Mendoza or that he was physically aggressive or sexually crude to them. The women said they feared it would affect their careers if they reported Mendoza.

The report did not find evidence that three staffers who said were fired by the state Senate were terminated due to their reporting of Mendoza’s behavior.[73]

Mendoza responded by criticizing the investigation, saying he was not allowed to review the report’s findings or offer an explanation for the events described. He said, “I am particularly disheartened and extremely concerned, as members of the Senate should be over the extreme lack of due process that has been afforded during the entire investigatory process…”[74] Mendoza also urged his colleagues to not expel him, saying that was a punishment typically reserved for criminal charges.[75]

On February 21, President Pro Tempore Kevin de Leon authored a resolution to expel Mendoza from the chamber.[76]

On February 22, Mendoza resigned from office. In his resignation statement, he said, “I shall resign my position as Senator with immediate effect as it is clear that Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de Leon will not rest until he has my head on a platter to convince the Me Too Movement of his ‘sincerity’ in supporting the Me Too cause.”[77]

Colorado

On November 10, the public radio station KUNC reported on state Rep. Faith Winter’s (D) allegation that state Rep. Steve Lebsock (D) sexually harassed her at a party in 2016 as well as eight other allegations of sexual harassment against Lebsock.[78] After the allegations became public, House Speaker Crisanta Duran (D) removed Lebsock from his position as chairman of the House Local Government Committee and said that he should resign from the state legislature. Lebsock released a statement on November 10 denying the claims and saying Winter and other accusers should file official complaints against him.[79]

On November 11, Lebsock told the Denver Post that he was sorry for making the women feel uncomfortable. Winter and two other Lebsock accusers released a joint statement saying that in his apology Lebsock had not taken full responsibility for his actions nor had he addressed complaints of inappropriate touching.[80]

On November 13, Winter filed a formal complaint against Lebsock. Duran said she would appoint an independent party to investigate complaints.[81]

Also on November 13, Duran and Senate President Kevin Grantham (R) announced that the legislature would look into measures to prevent sexual harassment, including increasing levels of training, reviewing existing sexual harassment policies, and overhauling the harassment reporting system.[82]

On November 15, the Denver Post reported that Thomas Cavaness had filed a sexual harassment complaint against state Rep. Paul Rosenthal (D). The complaint alleged that Rosenthal inappropriately touched Cavaness without his consent in 2012. Speaker Duran told Cavaness that she received the complaint and referred it to Legislative Legal Services for investigation. Duran temporarily removed Rosenthal as the vice-chairman of the Local Government Committee.[83] Rosenthal denied the allegations.[84]

On November 16, a second sexual harassment complaint was filed against Rosenthal by his former roommate. The roommate alleged that Rosenthal made inappropriate remarks to him and came into his room while he slept.[85]

On November 17, the Denver Post reported that a legislative aide had complained to Speaker Duran’s office about Rosenthal’s behavior earlier in 2017. The aide claimed that Rosenthal was attempting to use his position to form romantic relationships, including one with the aide’s brother. The aide declined to move forward with an investigation of Rosenthal and he received materials about sexual misconduct in the workplace from the speaker’s office.[86]

On November 21, leaders in the House and the Senate announced that they would conduct a formal review of their sexual misconduct policies.[87]

On November 28, an anonymous former legislative staffer filed a formal sexual harassment complaint against state Sen. Randy Baumgardner (R). According to the complaint, Baumgardner inappropriately touched the staffer during the 2017 legislative session. Baumgardner declined to comment on the allegations.[88]

On November 29, an anonymous former legislative intern filed a formal sexual harassment complaint against state Sen. Jack Tate (R). In the complaint, the former intern accused Tate of making inappropriate comments about her attire and touching her. In response to the complaint, Tate said, “I take this issue very seriously and am glad that a process is being put in place to clarify this situation.”[89]

On January 4, 2018, Speaker Duran dismissed the complaint that Thomas Cavaness filed against Paul Rosenthal because the incident allegedly occurred before he was in office.[90]

On January 8, Lebsock began circulating a document that detailed the sex life of a woman who accused him of sexual harassment and claimed that he was playing an arcade game at the same time that the alleged harassment occurred.[91]

On January 17, former legislative staffer Cassie Tanner filed a formal sexual harassment complaint against Lebsock, saying that he had tried to unbutton her shirt at a social event in 2015. Lebsock said he did not attend the event.[92]

On February 8, state Rep. Susan Lontine (D) disclosed that she had filed a sexual harassment claim against state Sen. Larry Crowder (R) in November 2017, alleging that he touched her inappropriately and made a lewd sexual remark to her. An investigation into her claims found them to be credible, but Crowder denied the alleged incidents happened. Lontine said that she went public with the accusations because she did not think Senate President Kevin Grantham (R) was adequately responding. Grantham said that he thought the matter had been settled privately and that Lontine preferred to keep the allegations out of the media.[93]

On February 13, Sen. Randy Baumgardner (R) announced that he would step down as chairman of the Senate Transportation Committee and would attend sensitivity training. His announcement came after an outside report found that the sexual harassment allegations against him were credible. He said, “I want to stress … that the allegations made against me in this complaint are not true, despite the findings of the investigation. I believe it to be flawed, inaccurate, incomplete and biased. I’m taking these steps voluntarily now in the hopes that it will bring this matter to a conclusion.”

Senate President Kevin Grantham (R) and Majority Leader Chris Holbert (R) requested that Baumgardner attend sensitivity training, but they also said that they believed the investigation into him featured, “inaccuracies, bias, conflicts of interest and inconsistencies.” Senate Democrats introduced a measure to expel Baumgardner.[94]

On February 27, House Majority Leader KC Becker (D) sent a letter to the chamber saying that she had reviewed an investigatory report into Lebsock’s behavior that found 11 charges of sexual harassment brought against him by women were credible. She said she would introduce a measure to expel him that would receive a vote on March 2.

Lebsock responded to Becker’s letter by saying that he would fight the expulsion resolution, which would need 44 of 65 members, a two-thirds majority, in order to pass. “I’m not guilty,” Lebsock said. “I’ve done nothing wrong. I have never sexually harassed anyone.” The last time a resolution of expulsion was considered for a Colorado state legislator was 1915.[95]

Lebsock was expelled from the Colorado House of Representative on March 2, 2018, by a 52-9 vote. Before the vote to expel Lebsock occurred, he switched his partisan affiliation from Democratic to Republican.[96]

Connecticut

On December 26, 2017, Gov. Dan Malloy (D) ordered a review of sexual harassment training policies in Connecticut’s executive agencies. Although the order only applied to executive agencies, Malloy said he would share the report with the legislative and judicial branches.[97]

On February 28, 2018, The Hartford Courant asked state Rep. Angel Arce (D) if he sent Facebook messages to a 16-year old girl in 2015 where he displayed affection toward her. Arce did not say whether he sent the messages or not, but he did say he was familiar with the girl, who was 18 at the time of the Courant report. Among the messages he allegedly sent to the woman, who disclosed them to the Courant, were, “Good night love and sweet dreams and thank you for coming into my life,”; “I wish you were living in Hartford. We be hanging out all the times”; “You so beautiful and gorgeous”; and, “Really hun trust I think we going to keep a lot of secrets between us.” Arce’s lawyer said that his client did not do anything improper.

After learning about the messages, House Speaker Joe Aresimowicz (D) removed Arce from his committee assignments and removed him from the position of assistant majority leader. He also said that Arce should resign from the state House.[98] Gov. Malloy also said that Arce should resign on March 2, 2018.[99]

Arce resigned on March 7. In his resignation statement, he said, “I do not want my presence to be a distraction to the very important work that occurs at the capitol and on the town committee every day. I also do not want my family, friends and supporters to be burdened in any way.”[100]

Delaware

On December 4, 2017, Delaware State News reported that both chambers of the Delaware General Assembly were changing their sexual harassment policies. The changes included explicitly forbidding sexual harassment in each chamber’s rules and updating guidelines for legislative employees. Leaders in the state House said their chamber would begin conducting annual anti-harassment training and updating the reporting process.[101]

Florida

On October 27, 2017, state Senate President Joe Negron (R) released an updated sexual harassment policy for the state Senate that changed the reporting process for sexual harassment claims. Under the new rules, employees could file complaints with their direct supervisor, the state Senate chief of staff, or the state Senate president. Previously, employees had been able to file complaints with the director of human resources of the Office of Legislative Services (OLS). The state Senate president also replaced the director of human resources of OLS as the office responsible for investigating claims. The updated policy was released the same day that state Sen. Jeff Clemens (D) resigned after admitting he had had an affair with a lobbyist.[102]

Politico interviewed state senators and staffers who opposed the new rules, particularly the removal of the OLS as a reporting outlet. The employees interviewed said the new rules limited the number of outlets that victims had for reporting and that direct reports to Negron or his office could make victims less comfortable than reporting to OLS. Moreover, they said the reliance on Negron’s office for reporting could cause a conflict of interest if he had a relationship with someone being accused of harassment. Katie Berra, a spokeswoman from Negron’s office, said, “I don’t think removing HR from the policy is removing them from the process. The update is a more direct reporting structure within the Senate. But, certainly, HR would be involved in any claim of sexual harassment.”[102]

On October 30, Negron announced he would reconsider the policy changes for sexual harassment reporting. He sent out a memo saying that employees could still report sexual harassment to the director of human resources of OLS.[103]

On November 3, Negron ordered an investigation into claims of sexual harassment against state Sen. Jack Latvala (R). The claims came from a Politico report where six women affiliated with the state Capitol said Latvala had either touched them inappropriately or verbally harassed them.[104] Latvala denied the claims and said they were made to harm his 2018 gubernatorial bid.[105]

On November 6, Latvala was removed from his position as chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee by Negron, who said the removal was temporary while the investigation took place.[106]

On November 9, Negron announced that Gail Golman Holtzman, a principal in the Tampa office of Jackson Lewis P.C., would head the investigation into the sexual harassment claims against Latvala.[107]

On November 29, Republican Senate staffer Rachel Perrin Rogers revealed that she had filed the confidential complaint accusing Latvala of sexual harassment and that she was one of the six women interviewed for the Nov. 3 Politico report. She said she revealed her identity because Latvala had already publicly suggested that she was one of his accusers. On November 19, Latvala apparently referred to Perrin Rogers in an interview when he said that one of his accusers had a husband who was a political consultant working for one of his gubernatorial opponents. Perrin Rogers is married to Republican political consultant Brian Hughes. According to Politico, Hughes was not openly working for a gubernatorial campaign at the time Perrin Rogers revealed her identity. As of November 29, Latvala had not responded to Perrin Rogers’ statement.[108]

On December 4, Florida Politics published an affidavit submitted by former Senate staffer Lily Tysinger on November 30. In the affidavit, she alleged that Perrin Rogers had spread false rumors about her while they worked together and attempted to end the careers of other Senate staffers. Perrin Rogers’ attorney, Tiffany R. Cruz, said that the statements were untrue and that Tysinger was a volunteer on Latvala’s 2018 gubernatorial campaign. Latvala said he was unaware of Tysinger being a volunteer for his campaign.[109]

Also on December 4, state Sen. Wilton Simpson (R), Perrin Rogers’ boss and state Senate president designee, said, “[Perrin Rogers] has been a trusted and valued member of my team for more than five years. Her tireless work ethic has served the people of my district and the state of Florida well. The incidents alleged in the media are disgusting. Since mid-last week there has been a smear campaign launched against Rachel. It must end immediately,”[110]

Also on December 4, former state Rep. Ritch Workman (R) withdrew from a position on the Public Service Commission that Gov. Rick Scott (R) had appointed him to on September 15. His resignation came after state Sen. Lizbeth Benacquisto (R) released a statement saying that he had made inappropriate gestures to her at a public event.[111]

On December 5, Politico reported that state Sen. Travis Hutson (R) called on Latvala to resign. Hutson said his call was based on Latvala’s response to the allegations rather than the allegations themselves. Hutson said, “This highly respected and regarded establishment is being burnt to the ground and I feel Senator Latvala is running around with the Napalm and the matches.”[112]

Also on December 5, state Sen. Lauren Book (D) filed a formal complaint alleging that Latvala broke Senate rules in his response to the sexual misconduct allegations against him. Specifically, Book alleged that Latvala broke two rules: conduct unbecoming of a senator and the use of undue influence. The complaint said, “We simply must stop the continued degradation of our institution and the destruction of the life of a woman who lawfully and rightfully filed her complaint.”[113]

On December 19, an independent investigation by retired Judge Ronald Swanson suggested that criminal charges could be filed against Latvala for allegedly sexually harassing Perrin Rogers and asking a lobbyist for sexual favors in return for supporting her legislation. The report identified four findings of probable cause that involved seven incidents between 2013 and 2017 where Perrin Rogers was allegedly groped or subjected to inappropriate contact by Latvala. The unnamed former lobbyist was the seventh woman to come forward alleging that Latvala had engaged in sexual misconduct. She said that she and Latvala had had an intimate relationship since 1995, and, from 2015 to 2017, she was repeatedly groped by Latvala when she went into his office. She said her experiences with Latvala caused her to leave the lobbying profession.[114]

On December 20, another independent report compiled by Gail Golman Holtzman was released. It contained testimony from women who said that Latvala attempted to touch them without their consent in exchange for legislative favors.

Latvala announced his resignation from the Florida State Senate on December 20, with his effective resignation date on January 5, 2018. In his resignation statement, Latvala denied the allegations against him and said that he disapproved of the process used in his investigation.[14]

Georgia

On December 7, 2017, House Speaker David Ralston (R) told WABE News that he had appointed a joint subcommittee of the Legislative Services Committee to look into possible changes to the General Assembly’s sexual harassment policy.[115]

Idaho

On November 27, state Rep. Caroline Nilsson Troy (R) announced that she and 13 other female state legislators—including Senate Minority Leader Michelle Stennett (D) and state Rep. Maxine Bell (R)—had signed a letter calling for mandatory sexual harassment training to be included in the legislature’s annual ethics training.[116]

Illinois

On October 23, 2017, more than 160 women and men signed an open letter detailing instances of sexual harassment and sexual assaults at the Illinois State Capitol. The letter called for a change to the state Capitol’s culture and cited a similar open letter from the California State Capitol. As of October 30, 2017, the list of persons who signed the letter was not public. According to CBS Chicago, the signers included state Rep. Sara Feigenholtz (D).[117]

Read the full letter here.

On October 31, 2017, the House Personnel and Pensions Committee held a hearing on sexual misconduct. During the hearing, lobbyist Denise Rotheimer testified that state Senate Majority Caucus Chairman Ira Silverstein (D) had sexually harassed her and that the harassment was at least partially related to legislation for which she advocated.[118]

Following Rotheimer’s testimony, state Sen. Karen McConnaughay (R) inquired into why the Legislative Ethics Commission (LEC) had not heard the complaint, and she found that there were 27 pending ethics complaints (which are not necessarily related to sexual harassment). According to Sen. McConnaughay, Randy Erford, executive director of the LEC, told her complaints can only be turned into cases if the legislative inspector general decides to investigate it. As of November 2017, the position of legislative inspector general had been vacant for three years.[119]

On November 1, Silverstein resigned as majority caucus chairman. He said the allegations against him were not true, and he apologized for making Rotheimer uncomfortable.[120]

On November 4, the LEC appointed former federal prosecutor Julie Porter as legislative inspector general.[121]

On November 7, the Illinois General Assembly unanimously passed legislation proposed by Speaker Michael Madigan (D) to require sexual harassment awareness training for state officers, legislators, staffers, and lobbyists. The legislation included sexual harassment in the state ethics code and made it punishable by a $5,000 fine.[122] The legislature also unanimously passed legislation allowing Inspector General Porter to investigate the 27 pending ethics complaints by extending the statute of limitations for those cases. According to the Southern Illinoisan, some House Republicans criticized the new ethics legislation, saying it would not be able to hold legislators accountable for conflicts of interests. Both chambers also created task forces to study further changes in ethics laws and recommend changes.[123]

On November 16, Gov. Bruce Rauner (R) signed the two bills related to sexual harassment training and ethics complaints investigations, respectively, into law. He said that the legislation related to the ethics complaints investigations was flawed but that he signed it in order to facilitate the investigations of 27 ethics complaints. He indicated that he thought the legislation should have given the inspector general more independence from legislators.[122]

In February 2018, House Speaker Madigan fired two of his political aides–Kevin Quinn and Shaw Decremer– after allegations of sexual harassment were brought against them. Madigan’s response to the allegations, including his appointment of attorney Kelly Smith-Haley as an outside counsel to investigate the incident, prompted members of the Democratic Party to call for him to step down as chairman of the state party or speaker of the House. Smith-Haley had prior associations with Madigan’s political operation and was seen by some Democrats as unable to impartially investigate the incidents.[124]

Democrats who called for Madigan to step down included gubernatorial candidates Chris Kennedy and Daniel Biss, 3rd Congressional District candidate Marie Newman, Attorney General candidate Sharon Fairley. Other Democrats, including gubernatorial candidate J.B. Pritzker, called for an independent investigation into Madigan’s handling of the allegations.[125][126]

Iowa

On November 9, the Des Moines Register reported that the Iowa General Assembly would hire a human resources manager to oversee complaints of sexual harassment at the state capitol.[127] In September 2017, the state agreed to a $1.75 million settlement with Kirsten Anderson, a former Senate Republican staffer. Anderson claimed she was fired in 2013 after filing sexual harassment complaints against men in her office. In July 2017, a jury had ruled in her favor in a trial over the claims and awarded her $2.2 million in damages. The $1.75 settlement came after the state agreed to drop its appeal of the verdict.[128]

On November 13, state Senate Majority Leader Bill Dix (R) released a statement saying that he would not reveal why Anderson was dismissed from her position, citing privacy concerns of Senate employees. Dix and his aides investigated Anderson’s case after the jury ruled in her favor in July 2017.[129]

On November 14, Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds (R) said that the state Senate should release details of the investigation into Anderson’s complaints and dismissal. Later that day, Dix held a press conference where he said that he was delaying plans to hire a human resources manager to oversee sexual harassment complaints. He said his office would consult with an outside organization before deciding how to move forward.[130]

On November 21, Dix announced that he would release the internal report on Anderson’s complaints and dismissal. He also announced that former Ambassador Mary Kramer would be advising him on workplace culture and that he would renew efforts to work with the state House in hiring a human resources manager to oversee sexual misconduct complaints.[131]

On November 24, the internal report covering sexual misconduct in a period from before Kirsten Anderson’s 2013 dismissal to July 2017 was released. According to the Des Moines Register, the report’s key findings were that anti-harassment training among Senate Republican staffers was ineffective, the term “zero tolerance” was a source of confusion, and that an outside investigation was not needed. The report detailed sexually explicit conversations among state senators on the chamber’s floor.

Senate Democratic Leader Janet Petersen said, “The findings of this internal report are deeply troubling. The report will increase the disgust that Iowans feel about the harassment, discrimination and retaliation against Kirsten Anderson and other legislative staff.” Petersen also said that the report could lead to further lawsuits unless Senate Republicans made changes in their staff or leadership.[132]

On December 1, the Des Moines Register reported that Iowa House of Representatives members and staff would be required to undergo sexual harassment prevention training before the 2018 legislative session began. Previously, members and employees had to sign a document saying they had read the policy. House Republican spokesman Colin Tadlock said the policy change was not related to the internal report released by the state Senate.[133]

Kansas

On October 25, 2017, Abbie Hodgson, chief of staff to state House Minority Leader Tom Burroughs (D) from 2014 to 2016, claimed that sexual harassment was common during her time in the Kansas State Legislature. She said that she was sexually harassed and inappropriately touched by legislators. She also said that male legislators had college-aged interns, including some females, drive them to social events occurring after normal working hours.

She said she complained about the harassment and treatment of interns to Burroughs. He denied that she complained of harassment, but he said she did mention the interns and that the practice ended afterward.[134][135]

On October 27, House Minority Leader Jim Ward (D) announced that House Democrats would undergo sexual harassment prevention training and said that any member found to have committed sexual harassment would be stripped of committee assignments.[136]

On October 30, the Legislative Coordinating Council (LCC), a committee that includes Democratic and Republican legislative leaders, authorized legislative staff to work with the Women’s Foundation to review the legislature’s sexual harassment policy and identify areas for updates.[137] The Women’s Foundation previously worked with the Missouri State Legislature following allegations of sexual harassment in 2015.[138]

Kentucky

On November 1, 2017, the Courier-Journal reported that Speaker of the House Jeffrey Hoover (R) had settled a sexual harassment claim brought by a female staffer.[139]

On November 4, other members of the House Republican leadership announced that they would hire a law firm to investigate Hoover’s settlement.[140] Also on November 4, Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin (R) said that any elected officials or state employee who had settled a sexual harassment claim should resign their position immediately.[141]

Hoover announced his resignation as speaker of the House on November 5, saying that a settlement had been reached on October 25. He said he had sent inappropriate, but consensual, texts to a female staffer. After Hoover announced his resignation, the House Republicans said the investigation by the law firm would continue.[142]

State Reps. Brian Linder (R), Michael Meredith (R), and Jim DeCesare (R) were also involved in the same sexual harassment settlement as Hoover. All three were temporarily removed from their positions as committee chairmen.[143]

On November 6, the FBI said it was looking into sexual harassment and retaliation possibly related to the Hoover incident. According to the Lexington Herald-Leader, these claims could have been related to the demotion of House Republican Communications Director Daisy Olivo, who said she was relieved of her duty of speaking to the press after she reported what she said was a “toxic work environment” in the House Republican leadership office to the Legislative Research Commission.[144]

On November 15, state Rep. Jim Wayne (D) filed a complaint with the Kentucky Legislative Ethics Commission that requested an investigation into the settlement that Hoover, Linder, Meredith, and DeCesare entered into.[145]

On November 16, Legislative Research Commission Director David Byerman said that taxpayer funds were not used to pay for the sexual harassment settlement.[146]

On November 30, Jordan Morgan, the daughter of state Rep. C. Wesley Morgan (R), said that Rep. Michael Meredith had sent her text messages which she thought were inappropriate while she worked in Gov. Bevin’s office.[147]

On December 1, the law firm hired to investigate the settlement reached by Hoover, Linder, Meredith, and DeCesare announced that it was unable to determine how much money was paid in the settlement.

On December 4, House Republican Communications Director Daisy Olivo filed a whistleblower lawsuit saying that she and a House aide who was having a sexual relationship with Hoover were targeted by Hoover’s chief of staff, Ginger Wills. Specifically, she said she was shunned by members of the House Republican leadership office after news of sexual harassment settlement became public and this left her unable to perform her job. Olivio’s suit claims that the sexual harassment settlement that Hoover agreed to involved his relationship with the aide and that it was paid with private funds from campaign donations. She also said that Hoover mischaracterized his relationship with the aide when he claimed it only involved text messaging and that it was actually a physical relationship.[148] An attorney for the House aide that Olivo named in the suit denied that she had a sexual relationship with Hoover.[149]

Also on December 4, state Rep. C. Wesley Morgan (R) filed a resolution to expel Hoover from the chamber.[149]

On December 11, The Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting released a report detailing allegations of sexual misconduct against state Rep. Dan Johnson (R). The report included allegations that Johnson had molested a 17-year old girl who attended the church where he served as a pastor.[150] After the report came out, Republican and Democratic leaders in the state House called on Johnson to resign.[151]

On December 12, Johnson held a news conference where he denied the accusations and said he would not resign.[152]

On December 13, Johnson was found dead from a probable suicide.[153]

On January 2, 2018, Hoover reversed his decision and chose not to resign as state House speaker. Speaker Pro Tempore David Osborne assumed Hoover’s duties while the Legislative Ethics Commission conducted an investigation of the allegations.[154]

On January 8, 2018, Hoover made his resignation as speaker of the Kentucky House official. After announcing his resignation in November 2017, he had been reconsidering whether to leave his leadership position and eventually decided to do so. He continued to deny that he had sexually harassed a female staffer, saying that he had sent inappropriate text messages. He also said that Gov. Bevin did not speak truthfully about his relationship with the staffer when he said it was sexual and that other unnamed individuals associated with the legislature had betrayed him. He said would continue to serve as a state representative.[155]

On January 10, the Kentucky House voted 90-0 to abolish a procedural rule that would have allowed a committee of lawmakers to investigate requests for the expulsion of lawmakers. The rule had originally passed on January 2, the day before a group of eight Republicans requested that Jeff Hoover be expelled from the chamber. The members were Addia Wuchner, Kim King, Russell Webber, Stan Lee, Robert J. Benvenuti III, Phil Moffett, Tim Moore, and Joe Fischer. Speaker Pro Tempore Osborne said that the original vote had been a mistake and that he and Democratic leader Rocky Adkins had decided that the Legislative Ethics Committee should have jurisdiction over the investigation of Hoover.[156][157]

Louisiana

On November 22, Johnny Anderson, a deputy chief of staff in the office of Gov. John Bel Edwards (D), resigned his position due to allegations of sexual harassment. The governor’s office did not release the details of the claims. Anderson denied the claims and said he resigned because he did not want to be a distraction to the governor.[158]

On November 29, The Advocate reported that state Sen. Sharon Hewitt (R) had asked the Louisiana Legislative Auditor to look into the state government’s sexual misconduct policies, specifically as they relate to hiring practices. She cited Anderson’s resignation and previous allegations against him from 2017 in her request.[159]

The Advocate also reported on November 29 that the Senate Select Committee on Women and Children would meet on December 8 to hold a hearing on the legislature’s sexual misconduct policies. Earlier in November, the Louisiana Legislative Women’s Caucus announced that it would review the state’s sexual misconduct policies.[160]

On December 4, Louisiana Legislative Auditor Daryl Purpera’s office announced that it would review the state government’s sexual misconduct policies before the 2018 legislative session began in March.[161]

On December 6, The Advocate reported that Gov. Edwards was forming a task force to look into sexual misconduct in state government.[162]

On February 22, 2018, a woman who previously worked as Secretary of State Tom Schedler’s (R) executive secretary filed a lawsuit claiming that Schedler had been sexually harassing her since 2017. She claimed that he repeatedly asked her to enter into a relationship with her, made sexual advances on her, and sent her sex tapes. The woman claimed that Schedler transferred her to undesirable assignments in retaliation for refusing his advances.

In response, Schedler said, “I have not seen the suit or the specific details but as the father of three grown daughters and three granddaughters I can assure the public that I believe in a safe workplace, free from harassment, and will continue my record of transparency with my constituents.”[163]

Maryland

On December 12, 2017, the Legislative Policy Committee unanimously voted to update the Maryland General Assembly’s rules on sexual misconduct. The updates allowed sexual harassment complaints to be tracked. The changes also allowed sexual harassment complaints to be possibly referred to ethics officials who could make disciplinary recommendations, including expulsion from the legislature.[164]

On February 2018, the Maryland General Assembly’s Women’s Caucus released a 38-page reportdetailing allegations of sexual harassment by female legislators, lobbyists, and staffers. The report came out on the same day that a working group began meeting to form recommendations on potential changes to sexual harassment policies.[165]

Massachusetts

On October 27, 2017, Yvonne Abraham published a column in the Boston Globe that detailed anonymous allegations of sexual harassment and misconduct at the Massachusetts State Capitol going back to the 1990s.

Later that day, state House Speaker Robert DeLeo (D) ordered a review of his chamber’s sexual harassment policies, citing Abraham’s column as the reason. His order mandated that state House chief legal counsel James Kennedy review the chamber’s policies and recommend updates by March 1, 2018.[166]

On November 30, Massachusetts State Senate President Stanley Rosenberg (D) said that he would support an independent investigation into allegations of sexual misconduct levied against his husband, Bryon Hefner. The allegations were first reported by the Boston Globe on November 30 and included charges that Hefner had sexually assaulted and harassed four men affiliated with the state capitol. Rosenberg said that Hefner did not have influence over his decisions as state Senate president.

On December 4, Rosenberg announced that he would temporarily step down as state Senate president while an independent investigation of Hefner’s actions took place. Senate Minority Leader Bruce Tarr (R) said that the investigation could not focus on Hefner because he was not employed by the state government and would instead look at whether any internal Senate rules were compromised.[167]

On December 5, Mass Live reported that the Massachusetts Senate Ethics Committee had authorized an investigation of Rosenberg and that Attorney General Maura Healey (D) and Suffolk District Attorney Dan Conley had opened a criminal investigation into the matter.[168]

On December 14, the Boston Globe reported that the FBI was looking into whether Hefner had attempted to use his relationship with Rosenberg and possible influence over legislative business to solicit sexual favors from his accusers.[169]

On December 21, Attorney General Healey said that some of the men claiming that Hefner harassed them had come forward.[170]

On February 5, 2018, the Boston Globe reported that Hefner had had access to Rosenberg’s emails while he served as president. Additionally, he had involved himself in the state budget process related to an earmark for the organization he worked and had been in direct contact with Rosenberg’s office about work-related matters. Rosenberg declined to comment on the report.[171]

Rosenberg later said in response to the report, “I did not allow Bryon Hefner to influence my actions and decisions as Senate President, or to influence the Senate’s actions and decisions, despite any suggestions to the contrary. I continue to rely on the Senate Ethics Committee investigation to determine all the facts, and I look forward to its completion.”[172]

Minnesota

On November 9, 2017, MPR News reported on sexual harassment allegations against state Rep. Tony Cornish (R) by an unidentified state capitol lobbyist and state Rep. Maye Quade (D), who also brought harassment allegations against state Sen. Dan Schoen (D). Later that day, state House speaker Kurt Daudt (R) announced that Cornish would be removed as the chairman of the House Public Safety Committee.[173] Cornish denied that he harassed the lobbyist, saying he wanted to pursue a relationship with her. He said his comments to Quade were intended as humor.[174]

On November 11, Minnesota state House leaders announced that they had hired an outside firm to investigate allegations of sexual harassment against Cornish.[174]

On November 21, Cornish and Schoen both announced they would resign from office. Cornish reached a deal with the lobbyist (who revealed herself as Sarah Walker) where he agreed to resign, apologize, and pay her legal fees. Although no official investigation of Schoen’s behavior had commenced at the time of his resignation, he had been accused of sexual misconduct by Quade, former Democratic state House candidate Lindsey Port, and a state Senate staffer.[175][176][16]

On December 4, MinnPost reported that sexual harassment training had become mandatory at the state capitol and that leaders said they would remove members from committee assignments if they did not attend.[177]

Mississippi

State Rep. John Moore (R) resigned his seat in the state legislature on December 8, 2017, citing health concerns. On December 11, House Speaker Philip Gunn (R) said that Moore had been facing multiple allegations of sexual misconduct at the time of his resignation. He said the House Ethics Committee would have investigated the allegations had Moore remained in office. Gunn said he could not speak to Moore’s cited reasons for his resignation. Gunn did not discuss specific allegations.

On December 11, the Clarion-Ledger reported that it had reached Moore by phone to ask him about the allegations. Moore initially said he did not know about the allegations and they were not the reason for his resignation. He later said that he was aware of the complaints and the House Ethics Committee investigation. He then said, “I can’t even have an intelligent conversation about this, because I don’t know … I knew when I resigned like I did there would be some rumors started.”[178]

Montana

On January 11, 2018, the Associated Press reported that Montana’s Legislative Council had reviewed the state legislature’s sexual harassment policies.[179]

Nebraska

Nebraska Supreme Court Judge Max Kelch announced his resignation on January 23, 2018, saying in a letter to Gov. Pete Ricketts (R), “After much deliberation, I have decided it is best for my family to submit my resignation.”[17] Following Kelch’s announcement, the Omaha World-Herald reported that his departure was related to sexual misconduct. It published a report on February 6, where two unnamed officials said that the allegations against Kelch were related to the national #MeToo movement that was drawing more attention to allegations of sexual misconduct. The World-Herald also interview two unnamed women who said that Kelch had made sexually suggestive remarks to them in the past.[180]

New Mexico

On November 24, 2017, state Rep. Kelly Fajardo (R) wrote an open letter saying that sexual harassment was common at the New Mexico State Legislature and that the legislature’s 2008 policy needed to be changed.[181]

On November 29, New Mexico legislative leaders announced that they planned to make changes to the state legislature’s sexual harassment policies by the end of January 2018. A report on the policies was scheduled to be drawn up by Democratic and Republican members before a meeting of the Legislative Council in December.[182]

On December 4, state Sen. Michael Padilla (D) announced that he was ending his 2018 bid for lieutenant governor. In November 2017, the Associated Press reported that the city of Albuquerque settled two sexual harassment lawsuits against Padilla while he managed the city’s 911 call center in 2006 and 2007. In the statement announcing his withdrawal from the race, Padilla said, “I accept full responsibility for making too many changes too fast at the 911 communications center in Albuquerque in 2006, which made the work environment to stressful. If I had to do this again, I would have spent more time understanding the capabilities of the individuals, and used that information to develop a more cohesive implementation plan for all of the needed changes at the 911 communications center.”

After Padilla withdrew, the New Mexico Republican Party released a statement that said Democrats should call on him to resign from the state Senate.[183][184]

On December 6, the Santa Fe New Mexican reported that state House Speaker Brian Egolf (D) said all members would be required to attend harassment training before the next legislative session began.[185]

On December 11, lobbyist Vanessa Alarid told the Legislative Council Service that former state Rep. Thomas Garcia (D) asked to have sex with her if he voted for one of the bills she was advocating for. Garcia denied the allegations.[186]

On December 16, Senate Democrats voted to remove Padilla from his position as majority whip. Padilla issued the following statement after the vote, “Tomorrow is another day, and I will work just as hard as I always do. I look forward to continued partnerships with my colleagues to get New Mexico moving in the right direction again.”[187]

On January 15, 2018, the New Mexico Legislative Council voted 15-0 to adopt a new sexual harassment policy. The new policy included a new definition of harassment, biannual harassment training for legislators, and a new investigatory process that would bring in an outside lawyer to look into allegations against lawmakers. The previous policy passed in 2008 and gave legislative leaders and their staff the ability to investigate allegations.[188]

New York

On November 29, 2017, the New York State Assembly Ethics Committee sanctioned Assemblyman Steve McLaughlin (R) after it determined that he asked a legislative staffer for a nude photo of herself and then leaked her name to another staffer after she filed a harassment complaint against him. The sanctions included a prohibition on the hiring of interns. McLaughlin was already set to leave the state Assembly because he was elected county executive in Rensselaer County earlier in November. McLaughlin denied the claims, saying, “A despicable element (in) the New York state Assembly sunk to a new low when it used its Committee on Ethics and Guidance as a political weapon to release untrue, baseless and legally infirm allegations against me in an attempt to negatively impact my career as a public servant.”[189]

On January 10, 2018, the Huffington Post published an allegation from former Independent Democratic Conference (IDC) staffer Erica Vladimer that IDC leader state Sen. Jeffrey Klein (D) had forcibly kissed her outside a bar in March 2015. State Sen. Diane Savino (D), another IDC member who was dating Klein at the time, was also present. Klein and Savino held a conference call on January 10 where they denied that the incident happened. Klein’s lawyer, Michael Zweig, said the following: “…it simply defies credibility and reason to suggest that Sen. Klein would have, in full view of both his longtime girlfriend, numerous staff members, and in the middle of a very visible and public street, assault Ms. Vladimir, as her allegation inaccurately suggest.”[190]

Klein invited the Joint Commission on Public Ethics to investigate the case.[191]

On January 29, the state Senate released an updated sexual misconduct policy to members. The new policy expanded the definition of sexual harassment and provided for disciplinary warnings for supervisors who failed to report misconduct. It also contained a section about false accusations and said that such accusations could result in disciplinary actions or firings.

Mainline Democratic leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins said, ” To emphasize the punishment for filing a false report while not emphasizing the seriousness of sexual harassment is exactly the type of intimidation that has silenced so many through the years, and encourages perpetrators to attack accusers.”

When asked about the new policy, Erica Vladimer said, ” I look forward to the day when the old boys’ club of dysfunction and protection of power is a thing of the past. But today, I feel sick.”

A spokeswoman for Senate President Flanagan said, “The provision that is being referenced by Senator Stewart-Cousins existed previously and has not been changed in any meaningful way. It is and always has been wrong to make a false complaint.”[192]

North Carolina

On February 28, NC Policy Watch reported that five women, including former legislative aide Jessie White, were accusing state Rep. Duane Hall (D) of sexual misconduct. The allegations included alleged instances of Hall kissing women without their consent and making unwanted sexual advances.

Hall denied the allegations against him. State Democratic Chairman Wayne Goodman and House Democratic leader Darren Jackson both called on Hall to resign.[193]

North Dakota

On November 16, 2017, House Majority Leader Al Carlson (R) announced that the Legislative Procedure and Arrangements Committee would examine the chamber’s sexual harassment policies on December 6. According to Carlson, the policies could be outdated. Legislative Council Director Jim Smith told the Bismarck Tribune that the North Dakota State Legislature does not have sexual harassment training. The Tribune also noted that the sexual harassment policy at the time did not include a provision dealing with reporting harassment.[194]

Ohio

On October 16, 2017, state Sen. Cliff Hite (R) resigned. He revealed on October 18 that his resignation was related to sexual harassment allegations against him. On October 19, Senate President Larry Obhof(R) announced that state senators would undergo sexual harassment prevention training.[195]

On November 14, 2017, state Rep. Wes Goodman (R) announced that he was resigning from office. House Speaker Cliff Rosenberger (R) said Goodman’s resignation was due to “inappropriate behavior related to his state office.” The Columbus-Dispatch reported that the behavior involved consensual sexual activity with a man in Goodman’s office.[196]

On November 20, the Independent Journal Review reported that Goodman had been “accused by dozens of people of sexual misconduct.” Among the accusations were that Goodman had made unsolicited sexually suggestive remarks to young men and that he fondled an 18-year old college student while he was sleeping.[197]

On January 2, 2018, House Speaker Rosenberger informed House members and staff that they must attend mandatory sexual harassment training.[198]

Oregon

On October 16, 2017, state Sen. Sara Gelser (D) said on Twitter that during her time at the state Capitol she had been groped and touched by a member of the Oregon State Senate. She did not reveal the person’s name.

On October 20, Oregon State Senate President Peter Courtney (D) stripped state Sen. Jeff Kruse (R) of his committee assignments. The Oregonian reported that allegations of inappropriate touching and Kruse’s smoking in his office were factors in the decision.[199]

On October 23, Gelser said that Kruse was the person who had been touching her and that his behavior continued after she reported it to the state legislature’s human resource staff. Kruse said that he did not believe he touched Gelser inappropriately.[200]

On October 24, The Oregonian reported that a second female state senator had reported being touched by Sen. Kruse. This led Dexter Johnson, the Oregon State Legislature’s legislative counsel, to open a fact-finding investigation into Sen. Kruse’s behavior.[201]

On October 27, 130 women signed an open letter condemning sexual harassment and assault at the Oregon State Capitol. The signers included Democratic and Republican lawmakers, legislative staffers, and lobbyists.

Read the full letter here.

Also on October 27, state House Speaker Tina Kotek (D) announced that the state legislature would hire an outside consultant to review sexual harassment training and personnel policies.[202]

On November 15, Gelser filed a formal sexual harassment complaint against Kruse. Read the complaint here. Gelser’s formal complaint triggered an outside investigation into her claims.[203]

On November 21, state Sen. Elizabeth Steiner Hayward (D) filed a formal sexual harassment complaint against Kruse. Read the complaint here. Kruse did not respond to requests for a comment on the complaint from The Oregonian.[203]

A report on Kruse’s behavior was released on February 6. It found that he “engaged in a pattern of conduct that was offensive to Senator Gelser and Senator Steiner Hayward, as well as other legislators and employees at the Capitol,” and that “there is a longstanding pattern of Senator Kruse engaging in unwelcome physical contact toward females in the workplace, including Senator Gelser and Senator Steiner Hayward, and that he stubbornly refused to change that behavior after being warned about it in March 2016.”[204]

Kruse did not respond to the Statesman Journal’s request for comment on the report. The Senate Committee on Conduct had a hearing on the report on February 22, 2018, after which it could recommend that Kruse be reprimanded, censured, expelled, or that no action be taken.[205]

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown (D) and House Speaker Tina Kotek (D) called on Kruse to resign. Kotek said that the Senate should expel Kruse if he did not step down.[206]

Kruse announced he would resign on February 8. He said his resignation would be effective at the end of the 2018 legislative session, which was set to go through March 15, 2018.[207]

Pennsylvania

On December 16, 2017, Philly.com reported that at least 11 former employees of state Sen. Daylin Leach(D), a candidate for Pennsylvania’s 7th Congressional District, said he either touched women without their consent or made inappropriate sexual comments around them.[208]

In response, Leach said that he was unaware of his staffers having problems with his sense of humor or that his touching made them feel uncomfortable. He also said that his political opponents had started rumors about him. He also said, “Politics is, sadly, an ugly business. And given the current atmosphere, these sorts of deep-sea fishing expeditions into everyone’s past are likely to become standard. That’s a shame. I worry that we risk weaponizing and trivializing a long overdue and critically important movement.”[209]

On December 18, Leach announced that he “taking a step back” from his congressional campaign due to the allegations against him. He did not say whether he was suspending or ending his campaign In his statement he indicated that he would not resign from the state Senate.[210]

On December 19, Philly.com reported that House Democrats had paid nearly $250,000 to settle a sexual harassment complaint against state Rep. Thomas Caltagirone (D) in 2015. The report said that the women who received the settlement had worked in Caltagirone’s district office. Caltagirone did not comment on the story.

In 1994, Caltagirone was investigated by a grand jury over claims that he attempted to coerce a worker in his office into having sex with him. The grand jury recommended that charges be brought, but then-acting Attorney General Walter Cohen and later-Attorney General Tom Corbett declined to file charges, saying that the complaint was credible but there was not enough evidence to convict. Caltagirone denied the allegations.[211]

State Rep. Nick Miccarelli (R) was accused of sexual and physical assault by two women in February 2018, according to Philly.com. The allegations resulted in an investigation being opened into Miccarelli.

One woman was employed as a state official and the other as a political consultant. Both previously dated Miccarelli. One woman alleged that Miccarelli took out a gun while driving at a high rate of speed and threatened to kill both of them. The other said that he forced her to have sex with him after their relationship had ended. Miccarelli denied the allegations against him.[212]

Rhode Island

On October 16, 2017, the Providence Journal published an interview with state Rep. Teresa Tanzi (D). In the interview, Tanzi said that a male colleague in a high-ranking position had told her that “sexual favors would allow [her] bills to go further.”[213] She did not identify the person who made the remark to her.

On October 17, House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello (D) said that in light of Tanzi’s statements, all House members and staff would undergo sexual harassment training at the beginning of the 2018 legislative session.[214]

On October 18, Attorney General Peter Kilmartin (D) and the Rhode Island state police announced they were conducting an investigation into the remarks that were made to Tanzi.[215]

South Dakota

On January 9, 2018, Senate President Pro Tempore Brock Greenfield (R) announced that he was appointing a group of legislators to examine the Legislature’s sexual harassment policies, including changes proposed by Democratic state Sen. Billie Sutton. Sutton had earlier criticized the Legislature’s policies.[216]

Tennessee

On November 20, House Speaker Beth Harwell (R) informed members of the Tennessee House and House staffers that they must attend in-person training on sexual harassment. The in-person training mandate replaced a 15-minute informational video that was previously required. Sexual misconduct allegations were brought against two Tennesse lawmakers in 2016 and 2017, respectively.[217]

Texas

On November 13, 2017, the Texas Tribune published a report on the culture of sexual misconduct at the state capitol, citing interviews with more than 24 current and former legislators and staffers. The report said that while sexual misconduct is commonplace, there had not been a formal complaint in either the state House or the state Senate since 2011 and most inappropriate behavior went unaddressed.

On November 14, Lieutenant Gov. Dan Patrick (R) and House Speaker Joe Straus (R) both indicated they would review their respective chambers’ sexual harassment policies in response to the Tribunestory. Straus directed officials in the state House to put a sexual harassment training policy in place by the end of January.[218]

On November 21, KXAN reported that state House members received a draft memo from the House Administration Committee proposing mandatory sexual harassment training for members, staffers, and interns.[219]

On December 1, the Texas House Administration Committee approved a new sexual misconduct policy for the chamber. According to committee Chairman Charlie Geren (R), the new policy would require House employees and staff to attend sexual harassment prevention training by January 2018. Representatives would not be required to attend, but House leaders would keep a record of who attended the meetings. Geren also said that he would ask House Speaker Straus to create a working group to review the chamber’s policies and recommend changes ahead of the 2019 legislative session. According to the Texas Tribune, the new policy also included changes to prevent retaliation against persons who report sexual misconduct and more details on how to report specific incidents.[220]

On December 6, the Daily Beast published an article that contained multiple allegations of sexual misconduct against state Sens. Borris Miles (D) and Carlos Uresti (D). The claims included an intern saying that Miles had propositioned her for sex and a journalist saying Uresti had made inappropriate comments about her undergarments. Miles did not respond to the allegations, and Uresti denied them.[221]

On February 27, 2018, two additional came forward to the Daily Beast and accused Uresti of sexual misconduct.[222]

Washington

On November 6, 2017, 175 women affiliated with the Washington State Capitol signed an open letter calling for a change in the culture at the state legislature, which they said facilitates sexual harassment. The signers included Democratic and Republican state legislators.[223]

Read the full letter here.

The letter followed an October 31 article from the Northwest News Network, The News Tribune, and The Olympian detailing instances of sexual misconduct at the state Capitol.[224] News outlets also reported on allegations of sexual misconduct brought against two former state legislators, Brendan Williams (D) and Jim Jacks (D).[225]

According to Northwest Public Radio, the Washington House began reviewing its sexual harassment policies with the help of an outside consultant in January.[226]

On November 15, the state Senate’s Facilities and Operations Committee approved changes in the chamber’s sexual misconduct policies. These changes included requiring annual sexual harassment training, posting the chamber’s policies on the internet, making lobbyists aware of the policies when they register, and appointing a Democratic legislator and a Republican legislator to monitor the issue.[227]

On November 30, a group of women who signed the open letter (using the organizational name “Stand With Us”) released part of their plan to address sexual misconduct at the state capitol. According to an email from lobbyist Rebecca Johnson, Stand With Us wanted the legislature to shift control of the human resources services from legislative leaders to a nonpartisan administrator. Johnson said this would decrease the fear that persons who report sexual misconduct could be retaliated against by legislators. Johnson also said that the state Senate and the state House should consolidate their approaches to sexual harassment reporting.[228]

On December 6, the Seattle-Times reported that state Rep. Matt Manweller (R) had been the subject of two sexual harassment complaints from his political science students at Central Washington University. According to the report, he was not disciplined for the first incident and received a formal reprimand for the second incident, including an order to attend sexual harassment training. Manweller denied the allegations and said the university mishandled the investigations.[229]

On December 14, the Seattle Times reported that Manweller resigned his position as assistant floor leader at the request of House Republican Leader Dan Kristiansen. He was also removed as the ranking Republican member of the Labor and Workplace Standards Committee.[230]

On February 21, 2018, the Seattle Times reported that state Rep. David Sawyer (D) was being investigated by the state House over a sexual harassment allegation. Sawyer did not comment on the investigation.[231]

Wisconsin

On November 16, 2017, the Capital Times reported that both chambers of the Wisconsin State Legislature were planning to require additional sexual harassment training for legislators and legislative employees. At the time of the announcement, the state Senate did not offer training on its sexual harassment policy. A spokeswoman for the state Assembly’s Republican leadership said additional training could be put in place for its members and employees.[232]

On November 28, Assembly Speaker Robin Vos (R) and Minority Leader Gordon Hintz (D) announced that no changes would be made to their chamber’s reporting and disciplinary policies for sexual misconduct. The policy at the time of the announcement did not allow for the release of information about sexual misconduct complaints unless the complaints result in criminal charges. They also announced that legislators and staffers would have to attend mandatory sexual harassment training at the beginning of each legislative session.[233] Assembly staffers were required to attend a November 28 meeting about sexual harassment prevention and response.[234]

On December 5, Assemblyman Josh Zepnick (D) was removed from his committee assignments by Vos and Hintz after the Capital Times reported that he had kissed two women without their consent in 2011 and 2015, respectively. Zepnick apologized and said the incidents were related to his alcohol consumption. He said, “While I have no recollection of these alleged incidents, there is never an excuse for inappropriate behavior. I take the claims seriously and respect the feelings of the women involved. I apologize to both women for my actions and for any distress that I may have caused.”

According to the Journal-Sentinel, Zepnick was not planning on resigning. Multiple Democrats, including Senate Minority Leader Jennifer Shilling, Assemblymen Gary Hebl and Jimmy Anderson, and state Democratic Party Chairwoman Martha Laning, called for him to resign.[235]

On December 6, the Associated Press reported that Zepnick had criticized his accusers for being anonymous and using media organizations to raise the allegations against him.[236]

On January 16, 2018, the Wisconsin Assembly approved a resolution making sexual harassment training mandatory.[237]

Wyoming

On December 14, 2017, Tatiana Maxwell, a former intern at the law office where Secretary of State Ed Murray (R) worked during his early career, accused Murray of sexually assaulting her in the workplace in 1982. Murray denied the allegations, stating, “This baseless claim about an encounter from thirty-five years ago is unequivocally false.”[238]

On December 22, Wyomingnews.com reported that the Legislative Services Office in the Wyoming Legislature was reviewing its policies and training related to sexual harassment.[239]

On January 23, 2018, Theresa Sullivan Twiford, who had worked as a babysitter for Murray’s family in 1988, said that Murray forcibly kissed her. Murray said he did not remember the alleged incident. Murray also announced that he would not seek higher office or reelection in 2018. He had previously been considered a frontrunner to replace Matt Mead (R) as governor.[240]

Murray resigned from his position on February 9, 2018. In a statement, he said, “After deep and profound contemplation, I am announcing my resignation as secretary of state, effective today. I step aside with peace and serenity in order that I may fully focus on what is most important in my life: my marriage, my family and my health.”[241]

Background

Sexual misconduct

JUSTIA, a community legal resource center, defines sexual misconduct as crimes “undertaken for sexual gratification against the will of another or without his or her permission.” Furthermore, it adds that sexual misconduct “can include harassment, unwanted touching, exposing oneself, undertaking sexual acts in public, forcing another to commit unwanted sexual acts, and otherwise causing offense or harm to another for purposes of sexual gratification.”[242] According to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), sexual harassment can include “unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical harassment of a sexual nature.”[243]

Weinstein sexual misconduct allegations

Increased media coverage of sexual misconduct in state capitols and other government and business institutions began after allegations of misconduct against film producer Harvey Weinstein arose in October 2017. Weinstein was a co-founder and co-chairman of the Weinstein Company, which had produced award-winning films such as The Artist and The King’s Speech.[244]

On October 5, the New York Times published a story that recounted allegations of sexual harassment against Weinstein from 1990 to 2015.[245] On October 8, Weinstein was fired by the Weinstein Company. He was removed from its board on October 17 after additional allegations of sexual harassment, sexual assault, and rape were levied against him by actresses and models.

Starting October 15, women began using the hashtag #MeToo on Twitter to express that they had been victims of sexual harassment or sexual assault. #MeToo was either explicitly used or implied in open letters in the California, Illinois, Oregon, and Washington state capitols that alleged sexual misconduct was commonplace.[246]

Sexual harassment policies in state legislatures

The National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) issued a survey in October 2016, asking human resources departments in state legislatures about their policies regarding sexual harassment. NCSL received responses from 49 offices in 44 states. Of the 49 offices that replied, 37 reported having formal policies on sexual harassment. For example, a California law requires that state employees in supervisory roles undergo two hours of training on sexual harassment policies every two years.[247]

For reporting sexual harassment, some state legislatures, such as New York’s, referred all sexual harassment complaints to outside law firms for investigation. However, according to the NCSL in 2017, it was common for states to require the outside reports to go through committees controlled by legislative leaders.[50]

In January 2018, the Associated Press released a review of sexual harassment policies in state legislatures. It found that almost all states had policies, about two-thirds of legislative chambers required members to undergo sexual harassment prevention training, and less than half of legislatures conducted external investigations into complaints. It found that, in the last months of 2017, about three-fourths of legislatures had at least one of its chambers update its harassment policies.[5]

Noteworthy events prior to October 2017

This section details notable cases of sexual misconduct in state legislatures before the Weinstein reports and #MeToo renewed the focus on the issue in October 2017. This is a selected list and does not cover all notable instances related to sexual misconduct before October 2017.

See also

Footnotes

  1. Jump up Time, “After the Harvey Weinstein Scandal, Women at U.S. Statehouses Are Saying #MeToo,” October 24, 2017
  2. Jump up The Hill, “Harassment, then helplessness, in state capitals,” October 25, 2017
  3. Jump up Governing, “As Outcry Over Sexual Harassment Grows, Focus Shifts to State Legislatures,” October 18, 2017
  4. Jump up Glamour Magazine, “Post-Weinstein, These Are the Powerful Men Facing Sexual Harassment Allegations,” November 30, 2017
  5. Jump up to: 5.0 5.1 AP News, “States rethink sexual misconduct policies after complaints,” January 11, 2018
  6. Jump up Capital Public Radio, “Two Women Accuse California Assemblyman Matt Dababneh Of Sexual Assault, Harassment,” December 4, 2017
  7. Jump up Los Angeles Times, “California assemblyman accused of forcing lobbyist into bathroom and masturbating,” December 4, 2017
  8. Jump up Politico, “Playbook,” December 5, 2017
  9. Jump up to: 9.0 9.1 SFGate, “California Assemblyman Matt Dababneh resigns, accused of sexual misconduct,” December 8, 2017
  10. Jump up Los Angeles Times, “Assemblyman Raul Bocanegra announces he will resign next year as Times prepares report on new sexual harassment allegations,” November 20, 2017
  11. Jump up Los Angeles Times, “As sexual harassment in politics investigations widen, California Assemblyman accused by six new women,” November 20, 2017
  12. Jump up to: 12.0 12.1 Los Angeles Times, “California Assemblyman Raul Bocanegra speeds up his resignation to ‘immediately’ following harassment allegations,” November 27, 2017
  13. Jump up Politico, “Clemens says he’s resigning from state Senate after admitting to affair with lobbyist,” October 27, 2017
  14. Jump up to: 14.0 14.1 Miami-Herald, “State Sen. Jack Latvala quits in face of corruption investigation, possible expulsion,” December 20, 2017
  15. Jump up Miami Herald, “Another sexual harassment allegation in Tallahassee leads to a new resignation,” December 4, 2017
  16. Jump up to: 16.0 16.1 16.2 Star Tribune, “State Sen. Dan Schoen, Rep. Tony Cornish both to resign after harassment claims,” November 21, 2017
  17. Jump up to: 17.0 17.1 Lincoln Journal-Star, “Justice Max Kelch resigns from Nebraska Supreme Court,” January 24, 2018
  18. Jump up Cleveland.com, “Cliff Hite says ‘inappropriate behavior’ with state worker led him to resign Ohio Senate,” October 18, 2017
  19. Jump up U.S. News and World Report, “Memo Details Sexual Harassment by Ex-Ohio State Senator,” October 28, 2017
  20. Jump up Runoff election scheduled for March 13, 2018
  21. Jump up Lebsock switched his partisan affiliation from Democratic to Republican on the day he was expelled from office.
  22. Jump up Juneau Empire, “Alaska Senator from Wasilla denies any wrongdoing with staffer,” November 9, 2017
  23. Jump up KTUU, “Legislature revisits anti-sexual harassment policies as some employees report problems,” November 21, 2017
  24. Jump up Daily News Miner, “Legislative subcommittee tasked with reviewing harassment policies in Alaska Legislature,” November 30, 2017
  25. Jump up KTOO Public Media, “Former legislative staffer alleges harassment by Rep. Westlake,” December 6, 2017
  26. Jump up Daily News-Miner, “Alaska House speaker demands harassment training for Legislature after Westlake, Wilson allegations,” December 7, 2017
  27. Jump up Anchorage Daily News, “Sen. Wilson says unreleased video shows he didn’t harass Capitol worker,” December 8, 2017
  28. Jump up Anchorage Daily News, “Seven aides at Alaska Capitol say legislator made unwanted advances and comments,” December 8, 2017
  29. Jump up Anchorage Daily News, “Alaska House leaders, head of Democratic Party call for Westlake’s resignation,” December 8, 2017
  30. Jump up Anchorage Daily News, “Legislators mull way forward after Westlake refuses to resign,” December 13, 2017
  31. Jump up Anchorage Daily News, “2 investigations into Sen. Wilson end in his favor,” December 13, 2017
  32. Jump up Anchorage Daily News, “Legislators mull way forward after Westlake refuses to resign,” December 13, 2017
  33. Jump up McClatchy DC, “Alaska Legislature HR manager: Edgmon, Tuck followed policy,” January 16, 2018
  34. Jump up SF Gate, “Alaska senator disciplined after retaliation finding,” January 31, 2018
  35. Jump up Arizona Central, “Arizona lawmaker Ugenti-Rita says she was sexually harassed by male colleagues,” October 20, 2017
  36. Jump up Arizona Central, “Arizona House members adopt first written sexual harassment policy,” November 2, 2017
  37. Jump up Arizona Central, “Several women accuse Arizona state Rep. Don Shooter of sexual harassment,” November 8, 2017
  38. Jump up Verde Independent, “‘Multiple investigations’ launched on harassment claims at state legislature,” November 9, 2017
  39. Jump up Arizona Central, “Rep. Michelle Ugenti-Rita says Rep. Don Shooter harassed her; Shooter vehemently denies it,” November 7, 2017
  40. Jump up Tucson.com, “Arizona Rep. Shooter suspended from powerful role as sex-harassment claims grow,” November 10, 2017
  41. Jump up Tucson.com, “Arizona House panel hires attorney to investigate sex harassment claims,” November 15, 2017
  42. Jump up Arizona Central, “Arizona Rep. Don Shooter apologizes for his behavior following sexual-harassment claims,” January 9, 2018
  43. Jump up ABC 15, “Investigative report released on sexual harassment at State House,” January 30, 2018
  44. Jump up Arizona House of Representatives, “HR 2003,” accessed February 1, 2018
  45. Jump up Los Angeles Times, “Arizona House votes to expel lawmaker over sexual misconduct,” February 1, 2018
  46. Jump up Los Angeles Times, “Read the letter: Women in California politics call out ‘pervasive’ culture of sexual harassment,” October 17, 2017
  47. Jump up We Said Enough, “We Said Enough: Demands End to Pervasive Harassment Culture,” October 23, 2017
  48. Jump up Los Angeles Times, “California Senate hires lawyers and a consultant to examine sexual harassment allegations,” October 23, 2017
  49. Jump up Los Angeles Times, “California Assembly to hold public hearings to address sexual harassment,” October 24, 2017
  50. Jump up to: 50.0 50.1 The Sacramento Bee, “Lawmakers ‘can’t police themselves’: How statehouses are confronting sexual harassment,” November 6, 2017
  51. Jump up Sacramento Bee, “She wanted a job and said California senator invited her home. He fired aides who knew.,” November 9, 2017
  52. Jump up The Union Democrat, :California investigates senator’s behavior to female staffer,” November 9, 2017
  53. Jump up Los Angeles Times, “California’s Senate to hand over all sexual abuse complaints to outside investigators,” November 12, 2017
  54. Jump up Los Angeles Times, “Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon says he will ‘immediately expel’ Bocanegra if investigation affirms allegations,” November 20, 2017
  55. Jump up Los Angeles Times, “State Sen. Tony Mendoza booted from leadership posts pending sexual harassment investigation,” November 27, 2017
  56. Jump up Los Angeles Times, “Victims denounce a failing system for reporting sexual harassment at the California Capitol,” November 28, 2017
  57. Jump up Politico, “Politico Playbook,” November 30, 2017
  58. Jump up Politico, “Playbook,” December 5, 2017
  59. Jump up Capital Public Radio, “Two Women Accuse California Assemblyman Matt Dababneh Of Sexual Assault, Harassment,” December 4, 2017
  60. Jump up Los Angeles Times, “California assemblyman accused of forcing lobbyist into bathroom and masturbating,” December 4, 2017
  61. Jump up Los Angeles Times, “Three more women accuse California assemblyman of sexual misconduct,” December 14, 2017
  62. Jump up Sacramento Bee, “Senate asks Tony Mendoza to take a leave of absence – he says no,” December 14, 2017
  63. Jump up Sacramento Bee, “Former aide to Tony Mendoza files complaint against California Senate,” January 3, 2018
  64. Jump up Los Angeles Times, “State Sen. Tony Mendoza takes leave of absence during investigation of misconduct accusations,” January 3, 2018
  65. Jump up Los Angeles Times, “State Senate panel votes to extend Sen. Tony Mendoza’s leave of absence until harassment investigation is completed,” January 25, 2018
  66. Jump up Los Angeles Times, “California Legislature releases a decade’s worth of records on sexual harassment investigations,” February 2, 2018
  67. Jump up Washington Post, “Female California lawmaker behind #MeToo push is accused of groping male staffer,” February 9, 2018
  68. Jump up Politico, “#MeToo movement lawmaker investigated for sexual misconduct allegations,” February 8, 2018
  69. Jump up Los Angeles Times, “Assemblywoman Cristina Garcia to take leave of absence during investigation of misconduct allegations,” February 9, 2018
  70. Jump up Politico, “Playbook,” February 15, 2018
  71. Jump up Politico, “‘Spin the bottle’ and a kegerator: #MeToo movement lawmaker faces new sexual misconduct allegations,” February 18, 2018
  72. Jump up Politico, “California Playbook,” February 20, 2018
  73. Jump up Los Angeles Times, “Senate investigation concludes Tony Mendoza ‘more likely than not’ made inappropriate advances on staffers,” February 20, 2018
  74. Jump up Twitter, “Melanie Mason, accessed February 20, 2018
  75. Jump up Capitol Public Radio, “Report: California Senator Tony Mendoza ‘More Likely Than Not’ Made Sexual Advances Toward Six Women,” February 20, 2018
  76. Jump up Los Angeles Times, “California Senate leader introduces resolution to expel Sen. Tony Mendoza,” February 21, 2018
  77. Jump up Sacramento Bee, “California senator resigns amid harassment allegations,” February 22, 2018
  78. Jump up KUNC, “Lawmakers And Lobbyists Accuse Steve Lebsock Of Sexual Harassment; Speaker Calls For His Resignation,” November 10, 2017
  79. Jump up Denver Post, “Rep. Steve Lebsock accused of sexual harassment by fellow representative, urged to resign by Speaker of the House,” November 10, 2017
  80. Jump up Denver Post, “State Rep. Steve Lebsock issues fresh apology to three women who accused him of sexual harassment,” November 11, 2017
  81. Jump up U.S. News and World Report, “Colorado Lawmaker Files Sexual Harassment Complaint,” November 14, 2017
  82. Jump up Denver Post, “Top Colorado lawmakers call for added protections against sexual harassment,” November 13, 2017
  83. Jump up Denver Post, “Second Colorado lawmaker now faces sexual harassment complaint,” November 15, 2017
  84. Jump up Denver Post, “Sexual harassment allegations prompt rare primary challenges to Denver Democratic lawmaker,” January 26, 2018
  85. Jump up KDVR, “Second sexual harassment complaint filed against Rep. Paul Rosenthal,” November 16, 2017
  86. Jump up Denver Post, “New accusations emerge about Rep. Paul Rosenthal following sexual harassment complaint,” November 20, 2017
  87. Jump up CBS Denver, “Colorado Lawmakers To Review Policy On Sexual Harassment,” November 21, 2017
  88. Jump up The Daily Sentinel, “Senator faces formal sex-assault complaint,” November 28, 2017
  89. Jump up KUNC, “A Fourth Formal Sexual Harassment Complaint At Colorado’s Capitol Names Sen. Tate,” November 29, 2017
  90. Jump up KDVR “Colorado House speaker dismisses sexual harassment complaint against Paul Rosenthal,” January 4, 2018
  91. Jump up 9 News, “Lebsock delivers manifesto to Colorado Legislature colleagues to defend himself,” January 9, 2018
  92. Jump up Denver Post, “State Rep. Steve Lebsock faces a third sexual harassment complaint as donations dry up for his campaign for treasurer,” January 17, 2018
  93. Jump up Denver Post, “Another Colorado lawmaker’s credible sexual harassment complaint emerges, as Democrats mount pressure for top Republican to act,” February 9, 2018
  94. Jump up Denver Post, “Colorado lawmaker accused of sexual harassment to step down from a committee chairmanship, but won’t resign,” February 13, 2018
  95. Jump up Denver Post, “Colorado Rep. Steve Lebsock faces expulsion after 11 sexual harassment allegations against him are deemed credible,” February 27, 2018
  96. Jump up Denver Post, “Rep. Steve Lebsock became a Republican minutes before being expelled from the legislature, meaning GOP could get his seat,” March 2, 2018
  97. Jump up Hartford Courant, “Malloy Orders Review Of Sexual Harassment Policies,” December 26, 2017
  98. Jump up Hartford Courant, “State Rep. Angel Arce Urged To Resign Following Questions About Text Exchanges,” March 1, 2018
  99. Jump up The Hartford Courant, “Malloy Joins Call For Rep. Arce To Resign Over ‘Repugnant’ Text Exchanges With 16-Year-Old Girl,” March 2, 2018
  100. Jump up Hartford Courant, “Arce Resigns From Legislature Amid Text Message Controversy,” March 7, 2018
  101. Jump up Delaware State News, “Legislature updating sexual harassment policies,” December 4, 2017
  102. Jump up to: 102.0 102.1 Politico, “Senate’s new sex harassment reporting policy comes under fire,” October 29, 2017
  103. Jump up Sunshine State News, “Joe Negron to ‘Revisit’ Senate Sexual Harassment Reporting Policy,” October 30, 2017
  104. Jump up Politico, “Six women accuse Florida Senate budget chair Latvala of groping, sexual harassment,” November 3, 2017
  105. Jump up Politico, “Top Senate investigator recuses herself from probe of Latvala sex harassment case,” November 4, 2017
  106. Jump up Miami Herald, “Gov. Scott calls Latvala allegations ‘disgusting’ as senator loses key budget role,” November 6, 2017
  107. Jump up Tampa Bay Times, “Tampa-based labor lawyer chosen to lead Senate’s sexual harassment investigation,” November 9, 2017
  108. Jump up Politico, “Senate staffer who accused Latvala of sexual harassment, groping goes public,” November 29, 2017
  109. Jump up Florida Politics, “Affidavit: Jack Latvala accuser boasted about sabotaging people’s careers,” December 4, 2017
  110. Jump up Politico, “Wilton Simpson: ‘Smear campaign’ against Rachel Perrin Rogers must end,” December 4, 2017
  111. Jump up Miami Herald, “Another sexual harassment allegation in Tallahassee leads to a new resignation,” December 4, 2017
  112. Jump up Politico, “First GOP calls for Latvala resignation surface in Senate over sexual harassment,” December 5, 2017
  113. Jump up Politico, “Book slaps Latvala with complaint for ‘scorched earth’ tactics against sexual harassment accuser,” December 5, 2017
  114. Jump up Politico, “Investigator recommends criminal probe of Latvala for sexual harassment, sexual ‘quid pro quo’,” December 19, 2017
  115. Jump up WABE, “House Speaker Ralston On Georgia’s 2018 Legislative Session,” December 7, 2017
  116. Jump up U.S. News and World Report, “Female Idaho Lawmakers Call for Sexual Harassment Training,” November 27, 2017
  117. Jump up CBS Chicago, “Rauner ‘Deeply, Deeply Troubled’ By Letter Detailing Sexual Harassment In Springfield,” October 27, 2017
  118. Jump up Illinois News Network, “State Sen. Ira Silverstein accused of sexual harassment at House hearing,” October 31, 2017
  119. Jump up Chicago Tribune, “Amid harassment allegation, Illinois senator loses leadership spot and a scramble to fill investigator’s job,” November 2, 2017
  120. Jump up ABC7 Chicago, “State Sen. Silverstein resigns from Senate leadership team after sexual harassment allegation,” November 1, 2017
  121. Jump up Politico, “Sexual misconduct allegations rock statehouses,” November 5, 2017
  122. Jump up to: 122.0 122.1 Chicago Sun-Times, “Rauner both signs and critiques sexual harassment legislation,” November 17, 2017
  123. Jump up Southern Illinoisan, “Illinois lawmakers engulfed by fixing sex-harassment mess,” November 7, 2017
  124. Jump up Chicago Tribune, “Madigan’s leadership becomes Democratic primary litmus test amid handling of harassment complaints,” February 21, 2018
  125. Jump up Chicago Sun-Times, “‘Velvet Hammer’ Mike Madigan getting nailed — by more and more fellow Democrats,” February 20, 2018
  126. Jump up Chicago Sun-Times, “Will Mike Madigan get the boot? Depends whether there’s another shoe to drop,” February 22, 2018
  127. Jump up Des Moines Register, “Iowa Legislature harassment complaints will be dealt with by new HR manager,” November 9, 2017
  128. Jump up Des Moines Register, “$1.75 million settlement reached in Iowa Senate sex harassment lawsuit,” September 28, 2017
  129. Jump up Radio Iowa, “Senate GOP leader: ‘expectation of privacy’ for sexual harassment investigation,” November 13, 2017
  130. Jump up U.S. News and World Report, “The Latest: Senate GOP Leader to Delay HR Job on Harassment,” November 14, 2017
  131. Jump up The Courier, “Iowa Senate GOP leader: Change needed after harassment settlement,” November 21, 2017
  132. Jump up Des Moines Register, “Internal review: Iowa legislators made sexual comments on Senate floor,” November 24, 2017
  133. Jump up Des Moines Register, “Iowa House of Representatives to require new sexual harassment training,” December 1, 2017
  134. Jump up The Hill, “Harassment, then helplessness, in state capitals,” October 25, 2017
  135. Jump up KCUR, “Sexual Harassment ‘Rampant’ At Kansas Statehouse, According To Former Staffer,” October 26, 2017
  136. Jump up Governing, “Sexual Harassment Training Added to Kansas Democratic Lawmakers’ Schedule,” October 30, 2017
  137. Jump up KCUR, “After Allegations, Kansas Legislative Leaders Call For Update Of Sexual Harassment Policy,” October 30, 2017
  138. Jump up News Observer, “Missouri foundation to study harassment in Kansas politics,” October 31, 2017
  139. Jump up Courier Journal, “House Speaker Jeff Hoover secretly settled sexual harassment claim by staffer, sources say,” November 1, 2017
  140. Jump up U.S. News and World Report, “Kentucky House GOP to Investigate Sexual Harassment Claim,” November 4, 2017
  141. Jump up ABC News, “Kentucky governor calls for public officials who settled harassment claims to quit,” November 4, 2017
  142. Jump up PBS, “Kentucky House speaker resigns post after texts with staffer,” November 5, 2017
  143. Jump up Lexington Herald-Leader, “Report on sexual harassment scandal expected in 10 days, House GOP leaders say,” November 10, 2017
  144. Jump up Lexington Herald-Leader, “FBI confirms it is reviewing sexual harassment allegations in Kentucky Capitol,” November 6, 2017
  145. Jump up WKYT, “Rep. Jim Wayne requests investigation of harassment settlement,” November 15, 2017
  146. Jump up Lexington Herald-Leader, “Who paid for Jeff Hoover’s sexual harassment settlement? Not taxpayers, LRC says.,” November 16, 2017
  147. Jump up Lexington Herald-Leader, “Former Bevin employee says state lawmaker sent her ‘highly inappropriate’ messages,” November 30, 2017
  148. Jump up Lexington Herald-Leader, “Jeff Hoover had sex with staffer and used donors to fund settlement, lawsuit alleges,” December 4, 2017
  149. Jump up to: 149.0 149.1 Washington Post, “The Latest: Woman denies sexual relationship with ex speaker,” December 4, 2017
  150. Jump up Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting, “The Pope’s Long Con,” December 11, 2017
  151. Jump up WHAS 11, “Kentucky political parties united in call for Dan Johnson to resign,” December 11, 2017
  152. Jump up WAVE 3 News, “Rep. ‘Pope’ Dan Johnson denies sexual assault allegations,” December 12, 2017
  153. Jump up Courier-Journal, “Bullitt County Coroner: Rep. Dan Johnson has died by ‘a probable suicide’ in Mt. Washington,” December 13, 2017
  154. Jump up Kentucky.com, Jeff Hoover remains House speaker, but he won’t preside over Kentucky House for now, accessed January 3, 2018.
  155. Jump up Courier-Journal, “Jeff Hoover resigns as House speaker amid sexual harassment scandal,” January 8, 2018
  156. Jump up Lexington Herald-Leader, “Eight House members file complaint, call for expulsion of Speaker Jeff Hoover,” January 3, 2018
  157. Jump up Lexington Herald-Leader, “Kentucky House disbands special committee investigating Jeff Hoover scandal,” January 10, 2018
  158. Jump up The Advocate, “Johnny Anderson says he’s innocent of sexual harassment allegation; resigned Wednesday to clear name as private citizen,” November 23, 2017
  159. Jump up The Advocate, “Louisiana lawmakers seek review of government’s sexual harassment policies after national issue hits home,” November 29, 2017
  160. Jump up The Advocate, “Panel to hold hearing on Louisiana Legislature’s sexual harassment policies,” November 30, 2017
  161. Jump up NOLA, “Louisiana auditor to review sexual-misconduct policies,” December 4, 2017
  162. Jump up The Advocate, “Gov. John Bel Edwards creates task force to look into sexual harassment in state government,” December 6, 2017
  163. Jump up The Advocate, “Louisiana Secretary of State Tom Schedler accused of sexual harassment in lawsuit,” February 22, 2018
  164. Jump up Baltimore Sun, “General Assembly to track sexual harassment complaints against lawmakers,” December 12, 2017
  165. Jump up WTOP, “‘Like a fraternity house’: Report reveals sexual harassment in Maryland State House,” February 16, 2018
  166. Jump up Newbury Port News, “Sexual harassment reports spur Mass. House to review its policies,” October 29, 2017
  167. Jump up Boston Globe, “Rosenberg to step aside as Senate leader during investigation,” December 4, 2017
  168. Jump up Mass Live, “Senate Ethics Committee opens investigation into Sen. Stan Rosenberg,” December 5, 2017
  169. Jump up Politico, “Massachusetts Playbook,” December 15, 2017
  170. Jump up WGBH, “AG Healey: Victims Came Forward To Spark Hefner Investigation,” December 21, 2017
  171. Jump up Boston Globe, “Hefner had access to Rosenberg’s e-mails,” February 4, 2018
  172. Jump up Politico, “Massachusetts Playbook,” February 6, 2018
  173. Jump up MPR News, “Rep. Cornish suspended as sex harassment investigation begins,” November 9, 2017
  174. Jump up to: 174.0 174.1 Twincities.com, “Outside firm will investigate sex harassment claims against MN lawmaker,” November 11, 2017
  175. Jump up Twin Cities, “Cottage Grove DFL lawmaker accused of sexual harassment; allegations include unwanted advances, touching,” November 8, 2017
  176. Jump up Twin Cities, “Sen. Dan Schoen, Rep. Tony Cornish to resign amid sexual harassment allegations,” November 21, 2017
  177. Jump up MinnPost, “Can training really fix a culture of sexual harassment decades in the making?,” December 4, 2017
  178. Jump up Clarion-Ledger, “Moore resigns facing sex harassment probe in House,” December 11, 2017
  179. Jump up Washington Times, “Montana lawmakers reviewing their sexual harassment policy,” January 11, 2018
  180. Jump up Omaha World-Herald, “Nebraska Supreme Court judge resigned after ethics complaint; sexual comments emerge,” February 6, 2018
  181. Jump up Las Cruces Sun-News, “New Mexico state legislator calls for overhaul of sexual harassment policy,” November 26, 2017
  182. Jump up Las Cruces Sun-News, “Bipartisan plan would overhaul New Mexico Legislature’s harassment policy,” November 30, 2017
  183. Jump up KOB 4, “Lujan Grisham tells Senate leader to leave race,” November 17, 2017
  184. Jump up KOB 4, “State senator ends lieutenant governor bid over harassment claims,” December 4, 2017
  185. Jump up Santa Fe New Mexican, “What next for #MeToo?,” December 6, 2017
  186. Jump up KRWG, “Lobbyist Reports Harrassment [sic] To Attorneys For State Legislature,” December 12, 2017
  187. Jump up U.S. News and World Report, “New Mexico Senate Dems Oust Colleague From Leadership Post,” December 16, 2017
  188. Jump up Los Alamos Monitor, “2018 State Legislature: Lawmakers vote to expand harassment policy Monday,” January 16, 2018
  189. Jump up U.S. News and World Report, “Ethics Panel: Lawmaker Asked Staffer for Nude Photos,” November 29, 2017
  190. Jump up Huffington Post, “EXCLUSIVE: New York State Sen. Jeff Klein Accused Of Sexual Misconduct,” January 10, 2018
  191. Jump up Newsday, “Cuomo: Investigate sex harassment claim against Sen. Jeff Klein,” January 11, 2018
  192. Jump up New York Times, “State Senate’s New Harassment Rules Include Warning to False Accusers,” January 30, 2018
  193. Jump up NC Policy Watch, “Top Democrats call on Rep. Duane Hall to resign amid sexual misconduct allegations,” February 28, 2018
  194. Jump up Bismark Tribune, “ND lawmakers to examine sexual harassment policy,” November 16, 2017
  195. Jump up WVXU, “Senate To Conduct Sexual Harassment Training,” October 19, 2017
  196. Jump up Fox News, “Wes Goodman, Ohio state rep, quits over reported ‘inappropriate behavior’ with male,” November 17, 2017
  197. Jump up Independent Journal Review, “EXCLUSIVE: 30 Sources Expose Sexually Explicit Evidence of Harassment by Ohio GOP Rep. Wes Goodman,” November 20, 2017
  198. Jump up Columbus Dispatch, “In Ohio, lawmaker’s sexual harassment training now required,” January 12, 2018
  199. Jump up The Oregonian, “State senator stripped of powers due to allegations of inappropriate touching in Capitol,” October 20, 2017
  200. Jump up Oregon Public Broadcasting, “Oregon State Senator Says She Was Sexually Harassed By Fellow Lawmaker,” October 23, 2017
  201. Jump up The Oregonian, “Second Oregon state senator accuses colleague of inappropriate touching,” October 24, 2017
  202. Jump up KUOW, “Oregon Legislature Plans To Hire Consultant To Review Sexual Harassment Policies,” October 27, 2017
  203. Jump up to: 203.0 203.1 The Oregonian, “Second Oregon state senator publicly accuses Sen. Jeff Kruse of sex harassment,” November 21, 2017
  204. Jump up [https://olis.leg.state.or.us/liz/2018R1/Downloads/CommitteeMeetingDocument/141425Oregon State Legislature, “FINAL INVESTIGATION REPORT REGARDING COMPLAINTS AGAINST SENATOR JEFF KRUSE,” accessed February 7, 2018]
  205. Jump up Statesman Journal, “Investigation: Sen. Kruse exhibited ‘longstanding’ pattern of sexual harassment,” February 6, 2018
  206. Jump up Washington Post, “Oregon legislator groped, grabbed women right on the state Senate floor, says official report,” February 7, 2018
  207. Jump up The Hill, “Oregon legislator resigns amid harassment allegations,” February 9, 2018
  208. Jump up Philly.com, “Ex-staffers: Sen. Daylin Leach crossed line with sex talk, inappropriate touching,” December 17, 2017
  209. Jump up Philly.com, “Sen. Daylin Leach responds: Alleged inappropriate touching ‘did not happen’,” December 17, 2017
  210. Jump up Philly.com, “Sen. Daylin Leach: ‘I am taking a step back’ from congressional campaign amid misconduct allegations,” December 18, 2017
  211. Jump up Philly.com, “Pa. House Democrats pay $248K to settle sexual harassment complaint against 40-year lawmaker,” December 19, 2017
  212. Jump up Philly.com, “Rep. Nick Miccarelli accused of abusive behavior and sexual misconduct,” February 28, 2018
  213. Jump up Providence Journal, “RI lawmakers share #MeToo revelations of sexual assault, harassment,” October 16, 2017
  214. Jump up Rhode Island Public Radio, “In Change, Rhode Island Lawmakers To Get Sexual Harassment Training,” October 17, 2017
  215. Jump up U.S. News and World Report, “Authorities Launch Inquiry Into Statehouse Sexual Harassment,” October 18, 2017
  216. Jump up McClatchy DC, “Panel to examine Legislature’s anti-harassment rules,” January 9, 2018
  217. Jump up Tennessean, “Tennessee House lawmakers must attend in-person sexual harassment training, speaker says,” November 20, 2017
  218. Jump up Texas Tribune, “Texas leaders call for reviews of Capitol sexual harassment policies,” November 14, 2017
  219. Jump up KXAN, “Texas House to set up sexual harassment training, public meeting in December,” November 21, 2017
  220. Jump up Texas Tribune, “Texas House revises sexual harassment policy following reports of flaws,” December 1, 2017
  221. Jump up Daily Beast, “‘You Want to F*ck With Me Tonight?’: Horror Stories from the Texas Capitol,” December 6, 2017
  222. Jump up Daily Beast, “Women Say Texas Senator’s a Creep. Court Says He’s a Fraud. But He Won’t Leave Office.,” February 28, 2018
  223. Jump up Northwest Public Radio, “175 Women Sign Letter Calling For End To Sexual Harassment In Washington State Legislature,” November 6, 2017
  224. Jump up Northwest News Network, “Women At Washington State Capitol Say ‘Me Too’,” October 31, 2017
  225. Jump up Seattle Times, “‘Me Too’ in Olympia: Reports of sexual harassment surface against 2 former lawmakers,” November 3, 2017
  226. Jump up Northwest Public Radio, “Women Speak Out, Name Names After Report On Sexual Harassment In State Capitol,” November 3, 2017
  227. Jump up The News Tribune, “Anonymous source comes forward to detail past harassment complaints as Senate makes changes,” November 15, 2017
  228. Jump up The News Tribune, “‘Stand With Us’ group wants lawmakers to take politics out of sexual harassment reporting,” November 30, 2017
  229. Jump up Seattle-Times, “Washington state Rep. Matt Manweller has faced sexual misconduct complaints from students,” December 6, 2017
  230. Jump up Seattle Times, “Washington state Rep. Matt Manweller steps down from House leadership amid misconduct allegations,” December 14, 2017
  231. Jump up K5 News, “House investigating allegations against state Rep. David Sawyer,” February 21, 2018
  232. Jump up Capital Times, “Wisconsin Senate, Assembly aim to offer new sexual harassment training in ‘near future’,” November 16, 2017
  233. Jump up Wisconsin Public Radio, “State Assembly Leaders Stand By Sexual Harassment Policies,” November 28, 2017
  234. Jump up Capital Times, “Wisconsin Assembly, Senate moving forward with updates to sexual harassment policies,” November 28, 2017
  235. Jump up Journal-Sentinel, “Rep. Josh Zepnick loses committee assignments after report he drunkenly kissed two women,” December 5, 2017
  236. Jump up U.S. News and World Report, “Zepnick Criticizes ‘Anonymous’ Sexual Misconduct Allegations,” December 6, 2017
  237. Jump up Governing, “Sexual Harassment Training Now Required for Wisconsin Lawmakers,” January 17, 2018
  238. Jump up Casper Star Tribune, “Woman says Wyoming Secretary of State Ed Murray sexually assaulted her when she was a teenager,” December 14, 2017
  239. Jump up Wyomingnews.com, “Wyoming lawmakers look to update sexual harassment policy,” December 22, 2017
  240. Jump up Casper Star-Tribune, “Second woman accuses Murray of sexual misconduct; Secretary of state won’t seek reelection or higher office,” January 23, 2018
  241. Jump up Wyoming Tribune Eagle, “Wyoming Secretary of State Ed Murray resigns amid sexual misconduct allegations,” February 10, 2018
  242. Jump up Justia, “Sexual Misconduct,” accessed November 16, 2017
  243. Jump up EEOC, “Sexual Harassment,” accessed November 16, 2017
  244. Jump up BBC, “Harvey Weinstein timeline: How the scandal unfolded,” October 26, 2017
  245. Jump up New York Times, “Harvey Weinstein Paid Off Sexual Harassment Accusers for Decades,” October 5, 2017
  246. Jump up New York Times, “#MeToo Floods Social Media With Stories of Harassment and Assault,” October 16, 2017
  247. Jump up National Conference of State Legislatures, “Sexual Harassment Policies and Training in State Legislatures,” July 2017
  248. Jump up Star Tribune, “Wisconsin Assembly Republicans strip majority leader of post amid abuse allegations,” March 4, 2014
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