Missouri House Speaker Calls for Mandatory Sexual Harassment Training for Legislature

AP) – Missouri’s House speaker on Friday called for mandatory annual sexual-harassment training for members and staff after a state senator and the former speaker resigned amid allegations they harassed interns and exchanged sexual texts with them.
GOP Speaker Todd Richardson also wants to ban romantic relationships between House members, staff and interns. He recommends requiring an outside investigation for any sexual harassment complaints involving House members, and is proposing additional oversight for intern programs.
“These proposed policy changes are not a cure-all,” Richardson said in a statement, “but they do take significant, substantive steps toward improving the work environment in the Capitol so that interns, staff and members can have a workplace where they are treated with respect and free from harassment.”
Richardson has said review of current House policies would be a top priority since colleagues picked him to succeed Republican former House Speaker John Diehl of Town and Country, who resigned on the last day of the legislative session in May after admitting to exchanging sexually suggestive text messages with a Capitol intern.
Former Sen. Paul LeVota, an Independence Democrat, resigned months later. One intern had accused him of sexual harassment, and the July release of a Senate investigation into that intern’s complaint led another intern to come forward and claim LeVota made unwanted sexual advances toward her in 2010.
LeVota has denied the allegations

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