Allegations against state senator prompt harassment working group
A legislative committee has approved a working group to evaluate the state Legislature's sexual harassment and other harassment policies, after allegations that Mat-Su Sen. David Wilson (R-Wasilla) harassed a female staff member in June.
Wilson is accused of briefly placing his cell phone between the staffer's legs in an attempt to record a closed-door House meeting, after the staff member repeatedly asked him to leave.
On Tuesday, the Legislative Council moved to allow Wilson to view surveillance video of the incident, which is not available to the public, per legislative policy. The committee approved similar access for the Legislature's human-resources manager, Skiff Lobaugh, as part of an internal investigation.
Wilson, who briefly filed to run for lieutenant governor but withdrew from the race, is separately accused of slapping Alaska Dispatch News political reporter Nat Herz during an exchange regarding an ADN story in May.
According to Rep. Sam Kito III (D-Juneau), chair of the committee, the six-member working group on harassment should have recommendations on new policy by the beginning of the next regular legislative session in January.
Members of the working group have not yet been named, but will include three representatives and three senators from within the Legislative Council. The working group will be overseen by Lobaugh.