The Democratic House Majority has called on Rep. Dean Westlake to resign. In an unsigned memo to legislators from the House Majority leadership, the majority stated:
“Speaker of the House Bryce Edgmon (D-Dillingham), on behalf of House Leadership, released the following statement in response to new allegations of sexual harassment by Representative Dean Westlake (D-Kiana).
“We take very seriously our obligation to ensure everyone who works in the Capitol feels safe and respected. Members of the Alaska House Majority Coalition Leadership understand that it is difficult for victims to speak out, especially against elected officials in a position of power and commend anyone who has been mistreated for coming forward; they are owed justice and respect. In light of recent reports of inappropriate behavior related to his position in the Legislature, House Leadership believes Representative Dean Westlake should resign from the office his constituents sent him to Juneau to represent. This is an extremely difficult decision to make, but it is a necessary decision.”
Earlier, Edgmon had said that Westlake deserved due process. Seven women who work in the Capitol have made allegations of sexual harassment against Westlake. More are said to be preparing to come forward.
This is a developing story. Check back for details
There is absolutely no way the House Majority would have progressed to the state of demanding a Westlake resignation without MustreadAlaska.com reports. The rest of the Alaska media was dragged along. Even upon the resignation, which seemingly must occur, there will be significant questions remaining as to how this was handled. Who sat on the letter of complaint? What else of this sordid sort is being sequestered? Why?
A former clerk for Judge Alex Kozinski said the powerful and well-known jurist, who for many years served as chief judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit, called her into his office several times and pulled up pornography on his computer, asking if she thought it was photoshopped or if it aroused her sexually.
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