Rising Numbers of Lawmakers Facing Sexual Misconduct Claims - NECN

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Rising Numbers of Lawmakers Facing Sexual Misconduct Claims

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Rising Numbers of Lawmakers Facing Sexual Misconduct Claims
    AP
    This combination of photos shows the numerous state lawmakers across the country who have been accused of sexual misconduct or harassment in the past year as of January 2018, who have resigned from office. Top row from left are Alaska Rep. Dean Westlake, California Assemblyman Matt Dababneh and Florida Sen. Jack Latvala. Middle row from left are Mississippi Rep. John Moore, Nevada Sen. Mark Manendo and Oklahoma Rep. Dan Kirby. Bottom row from left are Oklahoma Sen. Ralph Shortey, Oklahoma Sen. Bryce Marlatt and South Dakota Rep. Mathew Wollmann.

    A growing number of state lawmakers across the country have been accused of sexual harassment or misconduct since the start of 2017, particularly since the #MeToo movement gained momentum last fall. Here's a look at those who have resigned, been expelled, faced other disciplinary consequences or had accusations made public about them since the start of 2017:

    RESIGNED OR REMOVED FROM OFFICE

    1. Alaska: Rep. Dean Westlake, submitted resignation letter Dec. 15 after being accused by several women of inappropriate behavior.

    2. Arizona: Rep. Don Shooter, expelled from office Feb. 1 by an overwhelming House vote after an investigation substantiated a lengthy pattern of sexual harassment toward women, including a fellow lawmaker.

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    3. California: Assemblyman Matt Dababneh, resigned effective Jan. 1 after a lobbyist said he pushed her into a bathroom during a Las Vegas social event and engaged in lewd behavior in front of her.

    4. California: Assemblyman Raul Bocanegra, resigned in November after allegations that he had kissed or groped multiple women without their consent.

    5. Florida: Sen. Jack Latvala, resigned effective Jan. 5 following allegations of sexual misconduct raised by multiple women.

    6. Minnesota: Sen. Dan Schoen, resigned effective Dec. 15 following several allegations from women.

    7. Minnesota: Rep. Tony Cornish, resigned effective Nov. 30 following several allegations, including from a lobbyist who said he repeatedly propositioned her for sex.

    8. Mississippi: Rep. John Moore, resigned in December after multiple women made complaints against him; the House speaker's office said he had been facing an investigation led by an outside lawyer.

    9. Nevada: Sen. Mark Manendo, resigned in July after a law firm concluded that he violated the Legislature's anti-harassment policy and behaved inappropriately toward female staffers and lobbyists.

    10 Ohio: Sen. Clifford Hite, resigned in October after being accused of sexually harassing a female state employee.

    11. Oklahoma: Rep. Dan Kirby, resigned in February after two former assistants alleged he sexually harassed them, including one with whom he had reached a confidential wrongful-termination settlement that included a $44,500 payment from House funds.

    12. Oklahoma: Sen. Ralph Shortey, resigned in March and later pleaded guilty to a federal charge of child sex trafficking after being accused of hiring a 17-year-old boy for sex.

    13. Oklahoma: Sen. Bryce Marlatt, resigned in September after being charged with sexual battery for allegedly groping an Uber driver who picked him up from a restaurant in the capital city.

    14. South Dakota: Rep. Mathew Wollmann, resigned in January 2017 after admitting to sexual contact with two interns, which a legislative panel said was a violation of rules.

    15. Tennessee: Rep. Mark Lovell, resigned in February as a House ethics panel concluded that he had violated the Legislature's sexual harassment policy.

    OTHER ACTIONS

    1. Alaska: Sen. David Wilson, placed on probation and disciplined in December by Senate leaders after a review found he engaged in retaliation as he defended himself against sexual harassment allegations.

    2. California: Sen. Tony Mendoza, agreed Jan. 3 to take a one-month paid leave of absence during an investigation into allegations that he behaved inappropriately with three young women who worked for him; he was later suspended by the Senate Rules Committee until the investigation concludes.

    3. Colorado: Rep. Steve Lebsock, replaced Jan. 9 as chairman of the House Local Government Committee after allegations he sexually harassed a female lawmaker.

    4. Illinois: Sen. Ira Silverstein, resigned in November as majority caucus chairman after a victims rights advocate publicly accused him of sending inappropriate messages to her; a legislative inspector general recommended in January that Silverstein receive counseling from the Senate's ethics officer but said his inappropriate comments did not constitute sexual harassment.

    5. Kentucky: Sen. Julian Carroll, removed in July as the minority whip for Senate Democrats after he was accused of groping a man in 2005.

    6. Kentucky: House Speaker Jeff Hoover, resigned from his leadership post Jan. 8 after secretly settling a sexual harassment complaint with a female legislative aide and acknowledging he sent inappropriate text messages to her.

    7. Kentucky: Rep. Jim DeCesare, removed from a legislative committee chairmanship in November after signing a secret sexual harassment settlement.

    8. Kentucky: Rep. Brian Linder, removed from a legislative committee chairmanship in November after signing a secret sexual harassment settlement.

    9. Kentucky: Rep. Michael Meredith, removed from a legislative committee chairmanship in November after signing a secret sexual harassment settlement.

    10. Massachusetts: Senate President Stan Rosenberg, stepped aside in December from his leadership position pending an investigation by an independent law firm. The firm is looking into whether he violated any rules following a media report alleging that his husband sexually abused several men, including some who had dealings with the Legislature.

    11. New Mexico: Sen. Michael Padilla, ousted in December as Democratic majority whip by the caucus after decade-old allegations that he had sexually harassed women in a prior job. Padilla also dropped out of the lieutenant governor's race.

    12. New York: Assemblyman Steven McLaughlin, formally sanctioned in November by a legislative ethics panel after allegations that he asked a female legislative staffer for nude photos and leaked her name when she filed a harassment complaint.

    13. Ohio: Rep. Bill Seitz, compelled by the House speaker to issue a personal and public apology for reportedly making offensive remarks. Those included jokes he told about other recent sexual misconduct scandals during a Jan. 23 going-away party for a House staff member.

    14. Ohio: Sen. Matt Huffman, issued a public apology for reportedly making offensive remarks, including a suggestive reference to female genitalia, during a Jan. 23 going-away party for a House staff member.

    15. Oklahoma: Rep. Will Fourkiller, advised in February 2017 to get sensitivity training and blocked from interacting with the Legislature's page program for a year after being accused of making inappropriate comments to a high school page in 2015.

    16. Oregon: Sen. Jeff Kruse, removed from committees in October and told in a letter from the Senate president not to touch women after new accusations that he had inappropriately touched female colleagues. He faces an ongoing Senate investigation.

    17. Pennsylvania: Sen. Daylin Leach, announced in December that he will "step back" from his campaign for a congressional seat after allegations that he behaved inappropriately toward female employees and campaign aides. Also facing a call from Gov. Tom Wolf to resign.

    18. Pennsylvania: Rep. Patrick Meehan said he will not seek re-election following revelations that he settled a sexual harassment claim while serving as a member of the House Ethics Committee, NBC Philadelphia reported. Meehan denied that he harassed the woman.

    19. Washington: Rep. Matt Manweller, resigned as assistant floor leader and was removed as ranking member of a House committee in December. Manweller also was placed on paid leave from his job as a political science professor at Central Washington University and barred from contacting past and present students while the university investigates allegations of sexual harassment against him.

    20. Wisconsin: Rep. Josh Zepnick, removed from legislative committees in December after being accused of kissing two women against their will at political events several years ago.

    ALSO OF NOTE

    1. California: Assemblywoman Autumn Burke, included in sexual misconduct complaint records released Feb. 2 for participating in an inappropriate discussion about anal sex. She was notified of the complaint in February 2017.

    2. California: Assemblyman Travis Allen, included in sexual misconduct complaint records released Feb. 2 for being accused of inappropriately touching a female staff member in early 2013.

    3. California: Sen. Bob Hertzberg, included in sexual misconduct complaint records released Feb. 2 for being accused of grabbing a female staff member, dancing and singing to her in 2015.

    4. Idaho: Rep. James Holtzclaw, accused in a complaint of making inappropriate comments to at least two people during the 2017 session.

    5. Hawaii: Rep. Joe Souki, subject of an Ethics Commission complaint of sexual harassment filed in fall 2017 by the former head of Hawaii's Department of Human Services for alleged actions that occurred three years ago.

    6. New York: Sen. Jeff Klein, accused in January of sexual harassment in 2015 for allegedly forcibly kissing a former Independent Democratic Conference staff member who has asked for an investigation by the Joint Commission on Public Ethics.

    7. Pennsylvania: Rep. Tom Caltagirone, facing calls by Gov. Tom Wolf to resign after reports that House Democrats authorized paying about $250,000 to settle a sexual harassment claim from a legislative assistant against Caltagirone in 2015.

    8. Rhode Island: Rep. Teresa Tanzi, publicly alleged in October that a more senior legislator had suggested that sexual favors would allow her bills to go further, but Tanzi has not publicly identified the lawmaker.

    9. Florida: Sen. Jeff Clemens, resigned in October after an extramarital affair with a lobbyist. The House speaker had said that because a lobbyist is dependent on legislators, "the facts here raise a very real question of sexual harassment."

    10. Kentucky: Rep. Dan Johnson killed himself in December, just days after being publicly accused of sexually assaulting a teenage girl in 2013.