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As I See It

Embattled WI lawmaker should show decency, step down



The controversy over sexual misconduct allegations continues to dog the Wisconsin legislature. Milwaukee state representative Josh Zepnick is accused of sexual misconduct by two women, but vows to remain in office, and is even making plans to run for re-election. Zepnick stands accused of drunkenly kissing two women against their will, in 2011 and in 2015. Zepnick initially said he did not recall the incidents, but now says he remembers parts of the 2015 incident. But like many who stand accused of sexual harassment, the Milwaukee democrat insists the reported details are inaccurate and exaggerated. He even refers to himself as a “punching bag” and says he’s not sure how fair that is. It seems plenty fair. What isn’t fair is Zepnick’s ability to retain his Assembly seat. Party leaders have stripped Zepnick of his committee assignment and refused to allow him to caucus with party leaders. They have called for him to step down, but clearly Zepnick has no plans to do so. And as he indicated, may even run for the office again. I’m confident if he does try to retain his seat, voters in his district will prevent that. But if Zepnick had a shred of decency, he would apologize to his accusers and step down from public office.

Scott Robert Shaw serves as WIZM Program Director and News Director, and delivers the morning news on WKTY, Z-93 and 95.7 The Rock. Scott has been at Mid-West Family La Crosse since 1989, and authors Wisconsin's only daily radio editorial, "As I See It" heard on WIZM each weekday morning and afternoon.

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