After allegations of sexual misconduct against State Rep. Dean Westlake, on Wednesday, House Speaker Bryce Edgmon (D-Dillingham) urged anyone who's experienced sexual harassment in the Alaska Legislature to come forward.

Edgmon says he wants the public to know he takes allegations seriously, though he says rules created by the Legislature decades ago prevent him from confirming or denying any internal investigation into Westlake's behavior. The legislature has created a working group to review those policies, which Edgmon says could include more transparency.

"I'm hoping that we can have more transparency in the process and that we create an environment that if you deal with anyone inappropriately you will essentially be called out on it and that you pay the consequences that you deservedly should suffer for engaging in that kind of behavior," Edgmon said by phone Wednesday. 

The legislative working group on sexual harassment is scheduled to meet Wednesday morning at the Anchorage Legislative Information Office.

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