Connect with:
Sunday, April 22, 2018
HomeTop NewsReport appears to exonerate Sen. Wilson

Report appears to exonerate Sen. Wilson

READ THE REPORT HERE

A report completed by the Legislative Affairs Agency in November backs up what Sen. David Wilson has been saying for months: The dispute between him and a legislative aide working for House Speaker Bryce Edgmon did not amount to sexual harassment or even a hostile work environment.

That report was released by the Senate Rules Committee today.

Hawkins

“In conclusion, this event did not fit the definition of hostile work environment sexual harassment. Senator Wilson’s conduct did not violate the Legislative Council Policy on Sexual and Other Workplace Harassment.”

“While my investigation did not find a violation of the Legislative Council Policy on Sexual and Other Workplace Harassment, this was nevertheless an uncomfortable situation, and one that was made more uncomfortable for HSE because of the unequal status, in the legislative workplace, of legislative staff and legislators.”

The dispute in question arose in June when the staffer asked Sen. Wilson to leave the hallway in front of the Speaker’s Chambers. He challenged her authority to order him from the area. The media became involved when KTVA reporter Liz Raines stated that Wilson put a cell phone between the staffer’s legs, an account that he disputes.

In fact, the report states the cell phone was never closer than one to two feet from the aide, something that Wilson has asserted for weeks.

Wilson was quickly accused by Speaker Edgmon and Rules Chair Rep. Gabrielle LeDoux of sexual harassment, but neither has retracted their statements.

Senate Leadership issued the following statement:

“The Alaska State Senate will responsibly and transparently investigate all issues that potentially compromise a safe and respectful workplace. The Senate takes very seriously the protection of all legislative employees.

“Further, Senate Leadership has heard House Speaker Bryce Edgmon’s concerns of potential retaliatory actions in this matter. We also take allegations of retaliation very seriously, and are in the process of investigating to determine if additional action is necessary.”

The Senate Leadership is referring to a press release from Rep. Edgmon, which accused Wilson of castigating people who came forward. He felt the press conference held by Wilson last week violated the harassment policy.

“Senator Wilson crossed the line of appropriate behavior by using a press conference to chastise individuals who came forward as witnesses to an alleged incident of harassment. I believe this is a violation of the legislature’s harassment policy and warrants a serious investigation by the Senate,” Speaker Edgmon said on Dec. 7.

“I’m happy the report came and I’m requesting the video be released as well to show clear and convincing evidence,” Wilson said. “I disagree with some of the statements, but I’ll leave it be for right now.”

Donations Welcome
Written by

Suzanne Downing had careers in business and journalism before serving as the Director of Faith and Community-based Initiatives for Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and returning to Alaska to serve as speechwriter for Gov. Sean Parnell. Born on the Oregon coast, she moved to Alaska in 1969.

Latest comments

  • While both Wilson and the aide could have handled the initial event in a better way I believe Wilson’s press conference was more than appropriate in light of the fact that he was accused of sexual harassment. This is a serious accusation and Edgmon and LaDoux should be censured for their part in it. I commend Wilson for bringing this to light and fighting to get the facts out. Shame on those who accused him and those who attacked his character.

  • That aide that was involved should be fired too, she talked to reporters and called the behavior “weird and inappropriate.” If she really thought he was ‘upskirting’ her she should have just filed a report. She made a big deal of it because the KTUU camaras were there. Attention-seeking behavior, she probably got a raise out of it.

  • Liz Raines loses all credibility as a reporter, Edgmon and LeDoux never had any since they were lying politicians before, during, and after this episode.

  • I like Gabrielle LaDoux. She did a fantastic job of representing me when I lived in her district. The Republicans are not only hurting themselves by dissing her, they’re hurting Alaskans. Sometimes it takes everyone to solve a problem. Being part of the solution that helps all Alaskans instead of being beholden to a party is better, and one reason I am nonpartisan. Republicans could have more constituents if they weren’t more worried about party than solutions.

  • After Senator Wilson’s press conference, Edgmon made a statement that he would just as soon let Wilson hang and burn. To me that is a racial slur from the old south. Edgmon should be held accountable for that statement. We do not need that here in Alaska.