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Michigan state senator denies sexual harassment allegations

March 6, 2020 GMT
FILE - In this Feb. 20, 2019, file photo, State Sen. Peter Lucido, R-Shelby Township, speaks after a news conference at the Capitol in Lansing, Mich. Lucido has been stripped of a committee chairmanship and ordered to undergo training after the state Senate concluded allegations of sexual harassment lodged by several woman, including a legislator, were credible. Republican Sen. Peter Lucido lost his position leading the Senate Advice and Consent Committee on Thursday, March, 5, 2020. (AP Photo/David Eggert, File)
FILE - In this Feb. 20, 2019, file photo, State Sen. Peter Lucido, R-Shelby Township, speaks after a news conference at the Capitol in Lansing, Mich. Lucido has been stripped of a committee chairmanship and ordered to undergo training after the state Senate concluded allegations of sexual harassment lodged by several woman, including a legislator, were credible. Republican Sen. Peter Lucido lost his position leading the Senate Advice and Consent Committee on Thursday, March, 5, 2020. (AP Photo/David Eggert, File)

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — A Michigan lawmaker issued a statement Friday denying that he sexually harassed three women, a day after the Senate leader removed him from a committee he led and ordered him to undergo training.

Sen. Peter Lucido, a Republican from Macomb County’s Shelby Township, noted that the Senate Business Office and its outside lawyers determined the allegations could not be “unequivocally substantiated”.

The review, though, found all of the accusers “credible” and concluded it was “more likely than not” that each incident occurred as reported.

“Given that I have not sexually harassed anyone nor were there any citations of a violation of Senate rules determined by the investigation, I look forward to continuing to work on behalf of the people I represent,” Lucido said. “It is my honor and a privilege to serve the people of the 8th Senate District. I have always done my best for them, and I will continue to do so with the same level of hard work and service that they deserve from their public officials.”

Lucido’s comments were criticized by Allison Donahue, a Michigan Advance reporter who was the first woman to complain about his behavior, specifically that he made inappropriate comments to her in front of a group of high school boys at the Capitol.

“I’m disappointed that Sen. Lucido is choosing to gaslight and lie despite the results from the investigation,” she said in a statement. “The Senate Business Office clearly said that after dozens of interviews and multiple articles of evidence, the results showed that the allegations made my Sen. Mallory McMorrow, Melissa Osborn and myself were credible.”

Donahue said she appreciates both the investigation and Republican Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey’s decision.

“It’s time for everyone else to put in the work to change the culture,” she said. “This is the time where we should be choosing to believe women, to right our wrongdoings and make sure that everyone has a comfortable and safe work environment.”

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