‘OUR CAUCUS TAKES ALLEGATIONS OF THIS NATURE VERY SERIOUSLY’
The House Speaker Bryce Edgmon today issued the following statement about Rep. Justin Parish:
Juneau – Speaker of the House Rep. Bryce Edgmon (D-Dillingham) has issued the following statement to respond to recent media reports documenting an allegation of sexual harassment against Representative Justin Parish (D-Juneau).
“Our caucus takes allegations of this nature very seriously. However, I wanted to provide some clarifying comments following yesterday’s report.
The Legislative Affairs Agency Human Resources (LAA HR) Manager, Skiff Lobaugh, on January 30, 2018, received a complaint from a local media outlet regarding an off-site allegation of sexual harassment concerning Representative Justin Parish and one of their employees. January 30 was the first time any issue was brought to me by our Human Resources Department. My conversations with the media outlet’s attorney were verbal in nature, and no documents were delivered to my office or the LAA HR Department. The media outlet investigated the complaint with full cooperation from the Alaska Legislature.
The media outlet’s human resources lawyer, after discussion with me and with the LAA Legal Services Director, proposed corrective action. After discussing the allegations with Representative Parish, and consulting with the Legislative Affairs Agency Human Resources Manager and Legal Director, the corrective action requested, which consisted of additional training, was implemented and completed. My understanding is that the corrective action requested by the employee’s lawyer fully addressed the concerns which had been raised. It was made clear to me through the media outlet’s lawyer, that the company was not seeking any further action, and in fact, did not want further steps taken.
We cooperated fully with all of the media outlet’s requests and were instructed that given the circumstances, an independent LAA HR investigation would be inappropriate; as the complainant was not a legislative employee, the allegation did not involve an event occurring in legislative space or at a legislative event, and since there was no employer-employee relationship.
The training requested by the company, in my opinion, and based on advice from LAA Human Resources Manager, Skiff Lobaugh, closed this matter. When the matter was closed, it was closed without a finding of harassment under the Legislative Council Sexual and Workplace Harassment Policy.
I’ve been meeting regularly with Representative Parish and have received no further complaints about his behavior. Again, I take allegations of this nature extremely seriously and, along with my colleagues in the Legislature, encourage anyone who has been mistreated to come forward. The Legislature’s Sexual and Workplace Harassment Policy has recently been updated and approved, and anything but strict adherence to that policy will not be tolerated.”