AP: Legislatures lack public records of misconduct claims - WEEK.com: Peoria-area News, Weather, Sports

AP: Legislatures lack public records of misconduct claims

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Associated Press

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Over the past 15 months, dozens of state lawmakers across the nation have been forced out of office, removed from leadership roles, reprimanded or publicly accused of sexual misconduct during a mounting public backlash to such misbehavior by those in power. Yet the majority of state legislative chambers have no publicly available records of any sexual misconduct claims over the past decade. They say no complaints were made, no tally was tracked or they don't legally have to disclose it, according to an analysis by The Associated Press. The dearth of information doesn't mean state capitols are bastions of virtue. Instead, lawmakers and experts on sexual harassment say it suggests that legislatures have failed to take sexual harassment seriously. As a result, people have not felt comfortable raising complaints for fear of ridicule, isolation and retaliation.

Part of a series of stories by The Associated Press about sexual misconduct in state legislatures and how those cases are handled.

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