Assembly leaders refuse to release harassment complaints

Assembly leaders refuse to release harassment complaints

Assembly leaders say complaints about sexual harassment or misconduct by legislators or their staffers shouldn’t be released to the public.

Republican Speaker Robin Vos and Democratic Minority Leader Gordon Hintz said during a news conference Tuesday that there have been complaints filed in the past but they shouldn’t be released to protect people’s privacy. Vos added that complaints are confidential personnel records.

Vos says he’s focused on making sure victims get justice. Asked how the public can believe he’s doing anything without releasing the records, Vos noted Republicans removed former Rep. Bill Kramer from his leadership position in 2014 after Kramer was accused of sexually harassing a lobbyist and a legislative staffer and groping a woman’s breasts in a parking lot.

Republican also asked Kramer to resign but didn’t impose any sanctions.

Senate leadership is discussing changes in its policy relating to sexual harassment, according to a statement from Senator Scott Fitzgerald.

“Moving forward, senate leadership in both parties have discussed implementing mandatory sexual harassment training, which would begin in January or February of next year, but as of today nothing have been finalized,” the statement said.