Juneau, Alaska (KINY) An Alaska Senator cleared of sexual harassment last year was chided by his colleagues this morning.
The Senate Rules Committee today released a report finding that statements made by Sen. David Wilson (R-Wasilla) in December 2017 constitute retaliation under state and federal guidelines.
The nonpartisan Legislative Affairs Agency’s human resources manager conducted the investigation and wrote the report. Senate Leadership addressed the findings with Sen. Wilson and took disciplinary action.
Senate President Pete Kelly (R-Fairbanks) released this statement at the capital, “While Sen. Wilson’s actions in June 2017 did not meet the standard of hostile workplace sexual harassment, his public statements made in December 2017 were found to constitute retaliation against a person who participated in an investigation. The Senate takes these matters seriously and requires our members conduct themselves in a manner that supports a safe and professional working environment. Sen. Wilson’s press conference, the LAA report and the Rules Committee hearing are on the public record and speak for themselves. Upon advice of legal counsel, no further comment will be made on this matter."
There was no mention of any penalty or sanction that Sen. Wilson could face.
The investigation from Skiff Lobaugh, Human Resources Manger, found that Wilson's call to have House Speaker Bryce Edgmon step down would have impacted the house staffer's job and income and thus constituted retailiation.. It also found that Wilson spoke untruly when he said the incident didn't happen.
The investigation found the incident did happen but did not constitute hostile workplace sexual harassment, "The event did occur and it was uncomfortable, if not inappropriate, contact between Sen. Wilson and the staffer."
Lobaugh said actions like Sen. Wilson's might discourage employees from filing reports or participating in investigation of this nature in the future.