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Minnesota Senate democrats request outside investigation of sexual harassment claim



FILE - Minnesota's state Capitol

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Minnesota Senate Democrats have asked that an outside investigator look into allegations of sexual harassment made by a former staff member.

“Since one of the issues that has been raised involves the role of Senate HR itself, we do not think that an internal evaluation will be sufficient to address the concerns raised and to instill confidence in the results of the investigation,” the senators wrote to Senate Secretary Cal Ludeman.

A former aide to a senator says she was harassed by another legislative staff member. That person previously worked in the state House and as a campaign operative for Senate Minority Leader Susan Kent. The man accused of harassment was dismissed by Kent’s campaign and eventually fired by the House. He denies doing anything wrong.

Several DFL senators criticized their leaders for failing to adequately protect a staff member and take concrete steps to determine whether any policies were violated, Minnesota Public Radio News reported.

In the letter to Ludeman, Kent and two assistant leaders say the Senate’s anti-harassment policies need a careful review to close any loopholes.

Ludeman has not publicly responded.

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