A year of reck­on­ing

Sex­ual mis­con­duct claims tak­ing toll in state leg­is­la­tures

The Reporter (Lansdale, PA) - - FRONT PAGE - Source: Re­port­ing by AP state gov­ern­ment re­porters through­out the coun­try. Part of a se­ries of sto­ries by The As­so­ci­ated Press about sex­ual mis­con­duct in state leg­is­la­tures and how those cases are han­dled.

Dozens 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 reper­cus­sions or had ac­cu­sa­tions made pub­lic about them since the start of 2017:

Re­signed or re­moved from of­fice

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

2. Ari­zona: Rep. Don Shooter, R, 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.

3. Cal­i­for­nia: Assem­bly­man Matt Dabab­neh, D, 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, D, re­signed in Novem­ber af­ter al­le­ga­tions that he had kissed or groped mul­ti­ple women without their con­sent.

5. Cal­i­for­nia: Sen. Tony Men­doza, D, re­signed Feb. 22 af­ter an in­ves­ti­ga­tion found he likely en­gaged in un­wanted “flir­ta­tious or sex­u­ally sug­ges­tive” be­hav­ior with six women, in­clud­ing four sub­or­di­nates, a lob­by­ist and a young woman in a fel­low­ship with another law­maker.

6. Colorado: Rep. Steve Leb­sock, D, ex­pelled from of­fice March 2 by an over­whelm­ing House vote af­ter an in­de­pen­dent in­ves­ti­ga­tor de­ter­mined there were cred­i­ble claims he had ha­rassed five women, in­clud­ing a fel­low law­maker. Elected as a Demo­crat, Leb­sock changed his party af­fil­i­a­tion to Repub­li­can on the day he was ex­pelled.

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

8. Florida: Sen. Jeff Cle­mens, D, re­signed in Oct. 27 shortly af­ter a news re­port that he had 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.”

9. Hawaii: Rep. Joseph Souki, D, agreed March 21 to re­sign by the end of the month as part of a State Ethics Com­mis­sion set­tle­ment of al­le­ga­tions that he sex­u­ally ha­rassed mul­ti­ple women by sub­ject­ing them to un­wanted kiss­ing, touch­ing and sex­ual lan­guage. The set­tle­ment also calls for him to pay $5,000 to the state, make a pub­lic apol­ogy and not seek of­fice for two years.

10. Iowa Se­nate Ma­jor­ity Leader Bill Dix, R, re­signed March 12 af­ter a web­site pub­lished video of the mar­ried law­maker kiss­ing a lob­by­ist at a bar. Though the Se­nate’s ethics code doesn’t ex­plic­itly pro­hibit law­maker-lob­by­ist re­la­tion­ships, it says sen­a­tors should strive to avoid “the ap­pear­ance of un­eth­i­cal” con­duct, and some have raised ques­tions about whether their re­la­tion­ship af­fected leg­is­la­tion.

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

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

13. Mis­sis­sippi: Rep. John Moore, R, 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.

14. Ne­vada: Sen. Mark Ma­nendo, D, 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.

15 Ohio: Sen. Clif­ford Hite, R, re­signed Oct. 16 af­ter be­ing ac­cused of sex­u­ally ha­rass­ing a fe­male state em­ployee.

16. Ohio: Rep. Wes Good­man, R, re­signed Nov. 15 af­ter the mar­ried law­maker ac­knowl­edged hav­ing a sex­ual en­counter in his of­fice with another man; the House speaker said Good­man had en­gaged in “in­ap­pro­pri­ate be­hav­ior re­lated to his state of­fice.”

17. Ok­la­homa: Rep. Dan Kirby, R, re­signed in Fe­bru­ary 2017 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.

18. Ok­la­homa: Sen. Ralph Shortey, R, re­signed in March 2017 and later pleaded guilty to a fed­eral charge of child sex traf­fick­ing af­ter be­ing ac­cused of hir­ing a 17-year-old boy for sex.

19. Ok­la­homa: Sen. Bryce Mar­latt, R, 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.

20. Ore­gon: Sen. Jeff Kruse, R, re­signed ef­fec­tive March 15 af­ter an in­ves­ti­ga­tion de­ter­mined he had ha­rassed women in the Capi­tol with pro­longed hug­ging, grop­ing and other un­wel­come phys­i­cal con­tact.

21. Rhode Is­land: Sen. Ni­cholas Ket­tle, R, re­signed Feb. 22 af­ter Se­nate lead­ers in­tro­duced a res­o­lu­tion to ex­pel him af­ter he was charged the pre­vi­ous week with ex­tort­ing a male page for sex on two oc­ca­sions in 2011 and with video voyeurism that in­volved trad­ing nude photos of his ex­girl­friend and a New Hamp­shire woman without their con­sent

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

23. Ten­nessee: Rep. Mark Lovell, R, re­signed in Fe­bru­ary 2017 as a House ethics panel con­cluded that he had vi­o­lated the Leg­is­la­ture’s sex­ual ha­rass­ment pol­icy.

24. Utah: Rep. Jon Sta­nard, R, re­signed Feb. 6, cit­ing “per­sonal and fam­ily con­cerns,” shortly be­fore me­dia re­ports that Sta­nard had been re­im­bursed with tax­payer funds for at least two ho­tel stays in 2017 dur­ing which he al­legedly met up with a pros­ti­tute

Other reper­cus­sions

1. Alaska: Sen. David Wil­son, R, 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: Assem­bly­woman Cristina Gar­cia, D, took a vol­un­tary un­paid leave of ab­sence Feb. 9 af­ter pub­lic re­ports that a sex­ual mis­con­duct com­plaint had been filed against her for al­legedly grop­ing a former leg­isla­tive staff mem­ber in 2014.

3. Cal­i­for­nia: Sen. Bob Hertzberg, D, for­mally rep­ri­manded March 8 by the Se­nate Rules Com­mit­tee and told not to hug people any­more af­ter an in­ves­ti­ga­tion con­cluded that his fre­quent em­braces made mul­ti­ple fe­male col­leagues un­com­fort­able.

4. Colorado: Rep. Paul Rosen­thal, D, sus­pended as vice chair of a leg­isla­tive com­mit­tee in Novem­ber 2017 af­ter be­ing ac­cused of grop­ing a po­lit­i­cal ac­tivist dur­ing his first cam­paign for a House seat in 2012. Com­plaint was dis­missed Jan. 4, ap­par­ently be­cause the al­leged in­ci­dent took place be­fore he was elected, but Rosen­thal was sub­se­quently per­ma­nently re­moved from his com­mit­tee lead­er­ship post

5. Colorado: Sen. Randy Baum­gart­ner, R, stepped down as chair­man of the Se­nate Trans­porta­tion Com­mit­tee on Feb. 13 and agreed to un­dergo sen­si­tiv­ity train­ing af­ter me­dia re­ports al­leged that he groped a leg­isla­tive aide in 2016. A third-party in­ves­ti­ga­tor de­ter­mined the aide’s claims were cred­i­ble, but an April 2 Se­nate vote to ex­pel Baum­gart­ner failed. He re­tained lead­er­ship roles on two other com­mit­tees.

6. Illi­nois: Sen. Ira Sil­ver­stein, D, 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. Sil­ver­stein, a state sen­a­tor since 1999, lost in the Demo­cratic pri­mary March 20.

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

8. Ken­tucky: House Speaker Jeff Hoover, R, 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. An ethics com­plaint against him re­mains open.

9. Ken­tucky: Rep. Jim DeCe­sare, R, re­moved from a leg­isla­tive com­mit­tee chair­man­ship in Novem­ber 2017 af­ter sign­ing a se­cret sex­ual ha­rass­ment set­tle­ment stem­ming from a text mes­sage sent to a woman. A state ethics com­mis­sion voted April 3 to dis­miss a com­plaint against him.

10. Ken­tucky: Rep. Brian Lin­der, R, re­moved from a leg­isla­tive com­mit­tee chair­man­ship in Novem­ber 2017 af­ter sign­ing a se­cret sex­ual ha­rass­ment set­tle­ment stem­ming from a text mes­sage sent to a woman. A state ethics com­mis­sion voted April 3 to dis­miss a com­plaint against him

11. Ken­tucky: Rep. Michael Mered­ith, R, re­moved from a leg­isla­tive com­mit­tee chair­man­ship in Novem­ber 2017 af­ter sign­ing a se­cret sex­ual ha­rass­ment set­tle­ment stem­ming from a vul­gar state­ment to a woman. A state ethics com­mis­sion voted April 3 to dis­miss a com­plaint against him.

12. Mas­sachusetts: Se­nate Pres­i­dent Stan Rosen­berg, D, stepped aside in De­cem­ber 2017 from his lead­er­ship po­si­tion be­cause of an in­ves­ti­ga­tion into whether he vi­o­lated Se­nate rules in con­nec­tion with al­le­ga­tions that his hus­band sex­u­ally abused sev­eral men, in­clud­ing some who had deal­ings with the Leg­is­la­ture. Rosen­berg’s hus­band, Bryon Hefner, was in­dicted March 29 on sex­ual as­sault charges.

13. New Mex­ico: Sen. Michael Padilla, D, 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.

14. New York: Assem­bly­man Steven McLaugh­lin, R, 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.

15. Ok­la­homa: Rep. Will Fourkiller, D, 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. Penn­syl­va­nia: Sen. Daylin Leach, D, 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.

17. Penn­syl­va­nia: Rep. Nick Mic­carelli, R, had a three-year pro­tec­tive or­der is­sued against him by a judge on March 15, re­quir­ing him to stay away from state Rep. Tarah Toohill af­ter she ac­cused Mic­carelli of be­ing phys­i­cally abu­sive dur­ing a re­la­tion­ship that ended in 2012 and phys­i­cally in­tim­i­dat­ing to her at the Capi­tol this year. A pros­e­cu­tor con­firmed on March 2 that Mic­carelli is un­der in­ves­ti­ga­tion for al­le­ga­tions that he sex­u­ally as­saulted one woman in 2014 and threat­ened to kill another woman in 2012

18. Wash­ing­ton: Rep. Matt Man­weller, R, 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.

19. Wash­ing­ton: Rep. David Sawyer, D, re­stricted from work­ing with his staff in Fe­bru­ary pend­ing a review of al­le­ga­tions re­lated to per­sonal bound­ary is­sues; me­dia re­ported that eight women have ac­cused Sawyer of in­ap­pro­pri­ate be­hav­ior to­ward them both be­fore and af­ter he first was elected as a law­maker in 2012

20. Wis­con­sin: Rep. Josh Zep­nick, D, 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, D, 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, R, in­cluded in sex­ual mis­con­duct com­plaint records re­leased Feb. 2 for be­ing ac­cused of in­ap­pro­pri­ately touch­ing a fe­male staff mem­ber in early 2013.

3. Colorado: Sen. Jack Tate, R, de­ter­mined by an in­de­pen­dent in­ves­ti­ga­tor to have likely made in­ap­pro­pri­ate com­ments and flir­ta­tiously touched an in­tern in 2017 as al­leged in a com­plaint. But Se­nate Pres­i­dent Kevin Gran­tham closed the in­ves­ti­ga­tion March 29 af­ter de­ter­min­ing the al­leged ac­tions didn’t reach the level of sex­ual mis­con­duct.

4. Colorado: Sen. Larry Crow­der, R, ac­cused by state Rep. Su­san Lon­tine of pinch­ing her but­tocks in 2015 and mak­ing an in­ap­pro­pri­ate sex­ual com­ment to her in Au­gust 2017. Lon­tine went pub­lic with her al­le­ga­tions on Feb. 8, 2018, while not­ing that she had filed a con­fi­den­tial com­plaint against Crow­der in Novem­ber 2017.

5. Ge­or­gia: Sen. David Shafer, R,ac­cused by a lob­by­ist in a sex­ual ha­rass­ment com­plaint filed in March of re­tal­i­at­ing against and ha­rass­ing her af­ter help­ing her get a bill passed in 2011.

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

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

8. Ken­tucky: Rep. Jim Ste­wart, R, ac­cused in a

memo pub­li­cized in March 2018 of hav­ing a for­mal com­plaint filed against him in 2015 for al­legedly mak­ing “un­wanted ver­bal ad­vances” on a fe­male courier in the Capi­tol

9. Mis­souri: Rep. Joshua Peters, D, warned in Fe­bru­ary 2017 that any fur­ther com­plaints of in­ap­pro­pri­ate lan­guage or be­hav­ior would be dealt with more se­verely as the House Ethics Com­mit­tee dis­missed a sex­ual ha­rass­ment com­plaint brought against him by state Sen. Maria Chap­pelle-Nadal.

10. New York: Sen. Jeff Klein, D, 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.

11. North Carolina: Rep. Duane Hall, D, faced calls to re­sign in Fe­bru­ary from Gov. Roy Cooper and other top Democrats fol­low­ing a me­dia re­port in which people

al­leged Hall used sex­ual in­nu­endo and made un­wanted sex­ual ad­vances.

12. Ohio: Rep. Rick Perales, R, ac­knowl­edged in March that he en­gaged in “flir­ta­tious and in­ap­pro­pri­ate tex­ting” with con­stituent Jocelyn Smith in 2015 but de­nied ac­cu­sa­tions that he forcibly kissed and choked her. Smith is run­ning against Perales in the May 8 Repub­li­can pri­mary. The House speaker is in­ves­ti­gat­ing her claims.

13. Ohio: Rep. Bill Seitz, R, 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, R, 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. Ohio: Rep. Michael Henne, R, men­tioned in House doc­u­ments about ha­rass­ment al­le­ga­tions re­leased in Novem­ber

2017 as hav­ing been re­quired to un­dergo sen­si­tiv­ity train­ing and tem­po­rar­ily los­ing a com­mit­tee vice chair­man­ship in 2015 af­ter a fe­male state em­ployee com­plained he had made in­ap­pro­pri­ate com­ments to a group.

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

17. Ten­nessee: Rep. David Byrd, R, ac­cused by three women in a me­dia re­port March 27 of sex­ual mis­con­duct as their high school bas­ket­ball coach sev­eral decades ago. In­stead of heed­ing calls to re­sign from House and Se­nate lead­ers, Byrd is run­ning for re-elec­tion.

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