Sexual misconduct claims in state legislatures since 2017
Since the start of last year, The Associated Press has tallied at least 76 state lawmakers who have faced public allegations or repercussions over sexual misconduct claims. Most of those cases became public since the #MeToo movement gained momentum in October, though some of the incidents allegedly occurred several years ago.
Here is a look at those lawmakers who have resigned or been expelled, faced other repercussions such as the loss of party or committee leadership positions, or had accusations made against them:
RESIGNED OR REMOVED FROM OFFICE
1. Alaska: Rep. Dean Westlake, D, submitted resignation letter in December 2017 after being accused by several women of inappropriate behavior.
2. Alaska: Rep. Zach Fansler, D, resigned effective Feb. 12 after being accused of slapping a woman hard enough to rupture her eardrum during a sexual encounter after a night of drinking. He pleaded guilty June 21 to a misdemeanor harassment charge.
3. 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. Shooter is running for the state Senate in Arizona’s Aug. 28 Republican primary.
4. 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. A lawyer hired by the Legislature substantiated the claims following an investigation. But Dababneh has sued his accuser for defamation.
5. California: Assemblyman Raul Bocanegra, D, resigned in November 2017 after allegations that he had kissed or groped multiple women without their consent.
6. 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 program with another lawmaker.
7. 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.
8. Connecticut: Rep. Angel Arce, D, resigned effective April 9 after the Hartford Courant reported that he had sent affectionate text messages to a 16-year-old girl in 2015.
9. Florida: Sen. Jack Latvala, R, resigned effective Jan. 5 following allegations of sexual misconduct raised by multiple women. A prosecutor said in July that there was insufficient evidence to charge Latvala with trading sexual favors with a former lobbyist in order to help pass legislation.
10. Florida: Sen. Jeff Clemens, D, resigned in October 2017, shortly after a news report that he had 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.”
11. Hawaii: Rep. Joseph Souki, D, agreed to resign in March 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.
12. Idaho: Rep. Brandon Hixon, R, resigned in October 2017 while under criminal investigation for molesting two girls, including a young female relative for more than 10 years. Killed himself on Jan. 9, 2018, shortly before his ex-wife and two others were to testify to a grand jury.
13. Illinois Rep. Nick Sauer, R, resigned Aug. 1 after an ex-girlfriend claimed Sauer had posted nude photos of her on a fake social media account under her name. Sauer had been a member of the House Sexual Harassment and Discrimination Task Force.
14. 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.
15. Maine: Rep. Dillon Bates, D, resigned Aug. 20, a little over two weeks after a media report claimed that he had romantic relationships with female students while working as a teacher and coach. Bates also resigned from coaching and teaching positions.
16. Massachusetts: Senate President Stan Rosenberg, D, resigned May 4 after a Senate ethics report concluded he failed to protect the Senate from his husband, Bryon Hefner, who was indicted on sexual assault charges. Rosenberg had stepped aside in December 2017 from his leadership position because of the investigation into allegations that his husband sexually abused several men, including some who had dealings with the Legislature.
17. Minnesota: Sen. Dan Schoen, D, resigned effective Dec. 15, 2017, following several allegations from women.
18. Minnesota: Rep. Tony Cornish, R, resigned effective Nov. 30, 2017, following several allegations, including from a lobbyist who said he repeatedly propositioned her for sex.
19. Mississippi: Rep. John Moore, R, resigned in December 2017 after multiple women made complaints against him; the House speaker’s office said he had been facing an investigation led by an outside lawyer.
20. 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.
21. Ohio: Sen. Clifford Hite, R, resigned in October 2017 after being accused of sexually harassing a female state employee.
22. Ohio: Rep. Wes Goodman, R, resigned in November 2017 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.”
23. 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.
24. 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.
25. Oklahoma: Sen. Bryce Marlatt, R, resigned in September 2017 after being charged with sexual battery for allegedly groping an Uber driver who picked him up from a restaurant in the capital city.
26. 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.
27. 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 ex-girlfriend and a New Hampshire woman without their consent.
28. 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.
29. 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.
30. Utah: Rep. Jon Stanard, R, resigned Feb. 6, citing “personal and family concerns,” shortly before media reports that Stanard had been reimbursed with taxpayer money for at least two hotel stays in 2017 during which he allegedly met up with a prostitute
1. Alaska: Sen. David Wilson, R, placed on probation and disciplined in December 2017 by Senate leaders after a review found he engaged in retaliation as he defended himself against sexual harassment allegations.
2. Alaska: Rep. Justin Parish, D, directed to undergo additional sexual harassment training after a sexual harassment complaint in February outlined a series of unwanted flirting, touching and phone calls to a woman.
3. California: Assemblywoman Cristina Garcia, D, removed from all legislative committees May 18 and required to attend sensitivity and sexual harassment policy training after outside investigators determined she used vulgar language in violation of the chamber’s sexual harassment policy. Investigators initially cleared her of allegedly groping a former legislative staff member in 2014, but legislative leaders reopened the investigation in June after her accuser appealed.
4. 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.
5. California: Assemblyman Devon Mathis, R, required to participate in sensitivity training and additional sexual harassment training after an investigation concluded in June that he “frequently engaged in sexual ‘locker room talk.’” The investigation found a separate sexual misconduct claim was unsubstantiated. Mathis was sued in April by a former staffer alleging wrongful firing after complaining about sexual misconduct, discrimination and misuse of state resources. Another former staffer sued in May alleging various forms of harassment.
6. 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. The 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.
7. Colorado: Sen. Randy Baumgartner, R, removed from committee posts May 3 after an independent investigator found credible claims that he had created a hostile work environment during the 2016 session. Baumgartner had 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. An April 2 Senate vote to expel Baumgartner failed.
8. Illinois: Sen. Ira Silverstein, D, resigned in November 2017 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.
9. Illinois: Rep. Lou Lang, D, resigned as deputy House minority leader May 31, less than an hour after a medical marijuana activist accused him of sexual harassment and verbal abuse during interactions over the past four years related to legislation.
10. Iowa: Sen. Nate Boulton, D, suspended his campaign for governor May 24, a day after The Des Moines Register reported that three women alleged he touched them inappropriately several years ago.
11. 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.
12. 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. Agreed on April 10 to a $1,000 fine and a public reprimand to settle a Legislative Ethics Commission investigation into the matter.
13. 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.
14. 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
15. 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.
16. Maryland: Del. Curt Anderson, D, removed Aug. 24 from leadership positions as deputy whip and chairman of a subcommittee on criminal justice after an investigation by a legislative ethics panel into allegations of sexual assault, unwanted kissing and inappropriate comments. The panel also recommended he go through “intensive harassment awareness and prevention training.”
17. New Mexico: Sen. Michael Padilla, D, ousted in December 2017 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.
18. New Mexico: Rep. Carl Trujillo, D, defeated in the June 6 Democratic primary while fighting allegations of sexual misconduct. A report released by a special counsel in July backed up allegations by a former lobbyist of inappropriate advances toward her in 2013 and 2014.
19. New York: Assemblyman Steven McLaughlin, R, formally sanctioned in November 2017 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.
20. North Carolina: Rep. Duane Hall, D, defeated in the May 8 Democratic primary by first-time candidate Allison Dahle after rejecting calls to resign because of a media report in which people alleged Hall used sexual innuendo and made unwanted sexual advances. Hall admitted to inappropriately kissing one woman but denied harassment allegations.
21. 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.
22. Pennsylvania: Sen. Daylin Leach, D, announced in December that he would “step back” from his campaign for a congressional seat after allegations that he behaved inappropriately toward female employees and campaign aides. Announced in February that he would not run.
23. 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.
24. Washington: Rep. Matt Manweller, R, resigned as assistant floor leader and was removed as ranking member of a House committee in December 2017. Manweller was fired Aug. 14 from his job as a political science professor at Central Washington University following an outside investigation into allegations of sexual harassment against him. He made it through Washington’s top-two primary and will appear on the November ballot.
25. Washington: Rep. David Sawyer, D, suspended on May 9 as chairman of the House Commerce and Gaming Committee. Resigned chairmanship after a summary of an outside investigation released June 11 said Sawyer sent a House employee multiple “inappropriate and offensive” text messages and violated House policies on harassment, decorum and ethics. Media previously reported that several women accused Sawyer of inappropriate behavior toward them both before and after he first was elected in 2012.
26. 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.
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,cleared of sexual harassment allegations April 13 by the Senate Ethics Committee, which cited a review by an independent attorney concluding that allegations of sexual harassment brought by a lobbyist were more likely fabricated than true.
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 Minnesota: Rep. Rod Hamilton, R, apologized April 26 for what he said was a well-intentioned effort to comfort a woman while denying allegations of sexual misconduct made by the woman, who says he touched her without consent.
10. 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.
11. New Hampshire: Rep. Eric Schleien, R, charged in April 2017 with sexually and physically assaulting a 16-year-old girl who had expressed an interest in politics when he approached her at a cafe in July 2016. July selection is scheduled to begin in November.
12. New Hampshire: Sen. Andy Sanborn, R, cleared in June 2018 by the state attorney general’s office of allegations that a Senate intern had been paid to keep quiet about an inappropriate comment made by Sanborn in 2013. Documents released by the office suggest Sanborn was temporarily not allowed to have an aide after initially declining to participate in sexual harassment training.
13. 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.
14. Ohio: Rep. Rick Perales, R, acknowledged in March 2018 that he engaged in “flirtatious and inappropriate texting” with constituent Jocelyn Smith in 2015 but denied accusations that he forcibly kissed and choked her. Perales filed a criminal extortion complaint against Smith on April 3. Smith challenged Perales in the May 8 Republican primary but lost. Smith was indicted June 15 on charges of felony extortion and misdemeanor coercion.
15. Ohio: Rep. Bill Seitz, R, compelled by the House speaker to issue a personal and public apology for reportedly making offensive remarks, including jokes about other sexual misconduct scandals, during a Jan. 23 going-away party for a House staff member. Cleared of sexual harassment in April by an outside investigation conducted by a law firm where Seitz previously worked. An ethics complaint has been filed against the firm alleging a conflict of interest.
16. 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.
17. 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.
18. Pennsylvania: Rep. Tom Caltagirone, D, faced calls by Gov. Tom Wolf to resign after reports in December 2017 that House Democrats authorized paying about $250,000 to settle a sexual harassment claim from a legislative assistant against Caltagirone in 2015.
19. 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.
20. Texas: Sen. Borris Miles, D, accused in a December 2017 report by the Daily Beast of sexually propositioning an intern in 2013 when Miles was a state House member. Miles refused calls to resign from a group that backs female Democratic candidates.
Source: Reporting by AP state government reporters throughout the U.S.