Allegations that a Texas lobbyist drugged a legislative aide shook the state Capitol on Monday, resulting in some lawmakers limiting entry to their workplaces as each regulation enforcement and a significant lobbying agency stated they had been investigating.
Republican Dade Phelan, the speaker of the Texas Home of Representatives, stated in a uncommon speech from the ground of the chamber that the allegations encompass a gathering that passed off exterior the Capitol “in latest weeks” and that the staffer who made the allegations had reported the incident to regulation enforcement.
The Texas Division of Public Security is now investigating, company spokesman Travis Considine stated, however he wouldn’t present extra particulars.
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“I’m disgusted this type of predatory conduct remains to be going down in and round our Capitol,” Phelan stated. He advised the 149 different Home members that all of them should work towards “altering the tradition of this constructing.”
It was the primary time lawmakers had been again on the Capitol because the allegations had been first revealed over the weekend by the Austin American-Statesman. Certainly one of Texas’ most influential lobbying companies, HilllCo Companions, introduced it had employed exterior counsel and a former regulation enforcement official to conduct an inside investigation.
Invoice Miller, one of many founders of HillCo, stated Monday the agency took these steps after “we received a tip that we had an individual of curiosity in our agency.” He stated the agency had not been contacted by regulation enforcement.
“The reported incident is abhorrent and, as soon as investigated and located to be correct, must be handled within the strongest authorized method potential,” HillCo stated in a press release.
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The report shortly put a brand new deal with the remedy of girls and staffers on the Texas Capitol, the place three years in the past lawmakers revised sexual harassment insurance policies in each the Home and Senate because the #MeToo motion unfold to statehouses across the nation. On Monday, Phelan referred to as for altering the required in-person sexual harassment prevention coaching for Home members and employees, which he stated could be more practical than the digital coaching presently supplied.
State Rep. Shelby Slawson, a Republican, was amongst a handful of lawmakers who stated they might shut their workplaces to lobbyists whereas the investigation was underway.
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“Abhorrent. No excuses. Press ALL the costs,” Slawson tweeted.