TSUNAMI — SEVEN WOMEN COME FORWARD
The Anchorage Daily News is reporting the number of women who have been harassed by Rep. Dean Westlake is up to seven. And Must Read Alaska is hearing there will be more.
WHAT HAPPENS NEXT
1. Rep. Westlake of District 40 must resign. His written apology is not enough. The Democrats will offer three names to the governor. They are probably already working on this; I predict the governor will choose a woman to fill out Westlake’s term.
2. Rep. Chris Tuck must also resign if he withheld the letter that was addressed to him and Speaker Bryce Edgmon about the harassment issue — a letter he had in his possession since March 13. The woman, Olivia Garrett, making the allegation in the original letter says she believes Edgmon never got the letter that was addressed to him. Did he?
If not, this means for many months, Tuck’s refusal to act on the letter from Garrett created an environment of fear among all other women workers in the building, because they knew nothing was going to be done about the complaint. Garrett eventually left working for the Legislature in August. Tuck allowed Westlake to continue harassing women for many months. Tuck has to go. Edgmon? We would want his statement under oath.
3. Any other legislator who knew about the letter and did not come forward — Republican or Democrat — was complicit in allowing women to be harassed and fearful for their jobs for the past year.
4. What Westlake is accused of doing is a criminal offense, not just a human resources problem, and should be referred to authorities. Grabbing an aide’s bottom during a gallery walk is a sexual assault. The police need to take statements.
5. The special joint subcommittee on harassment is not a robust enough body to put these legislators under oath and get to the truth. It’s subcommittee is a political fig leaf.
6. This calls for a special independent counsel. Legislative Council needs to appoint such a person from outside the building to fully investigate, like former judge Dana Fabe or HR professional Lynne Curry.