Statehouse harassment

States where lawmakers and others have been accused of sexual harassment this year.

Arizona, November 2017

Eight women, including lawmakers, have accused Rep. Don Shooter of making sexually charged comments, touching them inappropriately or making unwanted sexual advances.

California, October 2017

More than 140 women, including legislators, lobbyists, political consultants and legislative staffers, signed a letter and a campaign called “We Said Enough” while calling out a pervasive culture of sexual harassment. Since the initial letter was published, hundreds of others have signed onto the effort. In October, news broke that Assemblyman Raul Bocanegra was disciplined eight years ago after a female staffer accused him of inappropriate physical contact. In November, Bocanegra said he would resign next year. Three women alleged inappropriate actions by Sen. Tony Mendoza.

Colorado, November 2017

Four lawmakers -- Reps. Steve Lebsock and Paul Rosenthal and Sens. Randy Baumgardner and Jack Tate -- have been accused of various forms of sexual harassment.

Florida, November 2017

Six women said Sen. Jack Latvala, who is running for governor, made inappropriate comments or unwanted touching in recent years. The Republican lawmaker denied touching any of the women and says he passed a lie detector test. The Senate president ordered an investigation into the allegations.

Illinois, October 2017

More than 130 people, including legislators, lobbyists and attorneys, signed a letter alleging widespread sexual harassment in Illinois politics. A victim rights advocate also accused state Sen. Ira Silverstein of harassment. Silverstein has since resigned from his leadership post. Since the initial letter was written, a former federal prosecutor has been appointed to serve as a watchdog charged with addressing sexual harassment at the Capitol.

Iowa, September 2017

The state of Iowa agreed in September to pay $1.75 million to settle a lawsuit brought in 2014 by a former Iowa Senate staffer who claimed she was fired just hours after lodging a complaint about sexual harassment and a toxic work environment at the Iowa Capitol. Kirsten Anderson in her lawsuit described a “locker room” environment where male staffers made dirty jokes and inappropriate remarks about women. One of the staffers at the heart of the complaints resigned.

Kansas, October 2017

A former legislative staffer raised concerns that leaders had failed to investigate complaints that male lawmakers had been relying on female interns as designated drivers after they had been drinking at lobbyist-hosted functions. Other allegations have surfaced in recent weeks of a pervasive culture of harassment toward women. In December 2016, Sen. Dan Kirby resigned after allegations of sexual harassment.

Kentucky, November 2017

House Speaker Jeff Hoover resigned from his leadership position after news broke that he and three other lawmakers reached a confidential settlement over sexual harassment claims. In July, Sen. Julian Carroll was removed from his party leadership position after allegations surfaced that he groped and made unwanted advances toward a man in 2005.

Massachusetts, November 2017

House leaders ordered a review of sexual harassment policies after a "Boston Globe" story in which women said the statehouse had a climate of harassment and sexual misconduct.

Minnesota, November 2017

In addition to a female lawmaker accusing Rep. Tony Cornish of frequently commenting about her appearance, a lobbyist is accused of engaging in sexual harassment. Another lawmaker, Sen. Dan Schoen, also has been accused of making unwanted sexual advances.

Missouri, January 2017

A female lawmaker accused Rep. Joshua Peters of inappropriately touching her. The accusation comes after House Speaker John Diehl resigned in May 2015 after it came to light that he’d sent sexually suggestive texts to an intern. State Sen. Paul LeVota resigned in July 2015 following allegations that he sexually harassed interns, including propositioning one young woman for sex.

New Hampshire, July 2017

Rep. Eric Schleien was charged with sexual assault of a minor. He is set to stand trial next year.

Nevada, July 2017

Sen. Mark Manendo resigned after an investigation by an outside law firm found the lawmaker had violated the legislature’s anti-harassment policy for engaging in repeated inappropriate behavior toward female staffers and lobbyists.

New York, October 2017

Former state lawmaker Sam Hoyt resigned from his job as a top economic development official to Gov. Andrew Cuomo after being accused of sexual harassment and paying $50,000 to a woman he had an extramarital relationship with. A female senior advisor to Cuomo said she’d been on the receiving end of chauvinistic and condescending remarks from male lawmakers. In early 2016, Assemblywoman Angela Wozniak was punished after an investigation found she had a sexual relationship with a staff member and retaliated against him after complaints.

Ohio, October 2017

In mid-October, state Sen. Cliff Hite suddenly resigned from the seat he held for six years, citing family health issues. Hite later faced allegations from a female legislative employee who said he spent two months repeatedly pleading to have sex with her. Days after Rep. Wes Goodman resigned from the legislature after having consensual sex with a male staffer, as many as 30 people say he engaged in inappropriate sexual behavior.

Oklahoma, February 2017

After two committees investigated sexual harassment complaints and recommended his expulsion, Rep. Dan Kirby resigned in February. The same month, another lawmaker – Rep. Will Fourkiller – was sanctioned after making inappropriate comments to a high school aged legislative assistant. In March, Sen. Ralph Shortey resigned after being charged with child prostitution. In September, Sen. Bryce Marlatt resigned after being accused of sexually assaulting his Uber driver.

Oregon, October, November 2017

At least 15 women, including state lawmakers, alleged Sen. Jeff Kruse had inappropriate interactions, including one woman who said he touched her breasts and kissed her. Another lawmaker, Rep. David Gomberg, apologized in late October for offending two women who accused him of wrongdoing two years before.

Pennsylvania, October 2017

A longtime Philadelphia-based lobbyist said she’s been the victim of inappropriate comments and sexual harassment over the years.

Rhode Island, October 2017

Rep. Teresa Tanzi, taking part in a chorus of women speaking out against sexual harassment on social media, said she was told by a high-ranking lawmaker that “sexual favors” would help her legislation advance. State authorities have since launched an investigation.

South Dakota, January, October 2017

Rep. Matthew Wollman resigned after admitting to having sex with two interns. In October, a state senator accused House Majority Leader Brian Gosch of commenting on her breasts and asking her for a hug.

Tennessee, January 2017

Freshman Rep. Mark Lovell quickly resigned amidst allegations of inappropriate sexual contact. The resignation came one year after a USA TODAY NETWORK-Tennessee probe featured three women who said Rep. Jeremy Durham sent them inappropriate late-night text messages. A subsequent investigation by the state’s attorney general found Durham had inappropriate sexual contact with at least 22 women while serving in office. House lawmakers later voted to expel him from the chamber.

Vermont, July 2017

After being arrested outside the statehouse in 2015, former Sen. Norm McAllister was found guilty in July of arranging to have sexual relations with a woman in exchange for paying her electric bill. A jury acquitted him of sexual assault.

Washington, November 2017

Three woman accused Rep. Brendan Williams, who served in the House from 2005 to 2011, of sexual harassment and assault. A fourth woman said he kissed her against her will in 2015.

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