Alaska GOP responds to Democratic calls for Sen. Wilson's resignation
The Alaska Democratic Party is suggesting the Alaska GOP call for Sen. David Wilson's resignation, after allegations that Wilson (R-Wasilla) harassed a female legislative staff member in June, and slapped a news reporter in May.
The Democratic Party has called for one of its own to step down after allegations of sexual misconduct against Rep. Dean Westlake (D-Kiana). In a live interview with KTVA Friday, Jay Parmley, executive director of the Alaska Democratic Party said Republicans should consider launching a similar call for Wilson.
"I think he should stand up and take responsibility for his actions too, and I think that's up to the Republican Party and for Sen. Wilson to make that decision," Parmley said, adding that his resignation should be an available avenue. "And first of all, let me just be very clear, I know on the Democratic side, that we believe that any form of sexual harassment, intimidation, assault or abuse is absolutely uncalled for, and whoever does that should not be in office. And that's pretty clear, and it's what we've said today about Rep. Westlake. And what I would say the same about Sen. Wilson."
In a phone interview Sunday, Tuckerman Babcock, chairman of the Alaska Republican Party, said the Party doesn't plan to call for Wilson's resignation at this time.
"Issues of harassment are not political footballs, I mean, one reason the Republican Party hasn't weighed in is these are very serious matters regarding people who have been potentially harmed or harassed. And the appropriate steps need to be taken and decisions taken after fair investigations have taken place," Babcock said, adding that Sen. Wilson has requested that surveillance video of the June incident and an investigation on the matter be released.
As for the allegation that Wilson slapped a reporter in the state capitol building, Babcock said:
"I've spoken with the reporter, and with the senator, and neither one has spoken to me that they personally consider the incident very significant. But I'm not the investigator, so I'm not surprised they didn't. I would wait on any investigation and decision by the police and the prosecutor to see what sort of action actually occurred."
The alleged slap was caught on an audio recording by the news reporter.
When asked at a press conference Thursday, whether he slapped the reporter, Wilson told KTVA he couldn't comment other than to say he didn't assault the reporter and that the investigation is still ongoing.
Assistant Attorney General Andrew Peterson, says no charging decision has been made in that case, but Alaskans can expect one soon.
Copyright 2017 KTVA. All rights reserved.