PHOENIX, Ariz. - UPDATE: Representative Don Shooter (R-13) today released the following statement following a report launched by the Arizona House of Representatives that found credible evidence of sexual harassment allegedly conducted by Shooter.
“I am reviewing the report released by Speaker Mesnard today in connection with the investigation I requested. Although I have not finished reading it, I want to thank my colleagues for their patience and professionalism during this process.”
“I also want to thank the investigators, Craig Morgan and Lindsay Hesketh from the law firm Sherman & Howard. With so much at stake for so many, their task was no doubt challenging. I appreciate the seriousness with which they approached their assignment.”
“This has been a humbling and eye-opening experience for me. I look forward to working to repair relationships and serving my constituents and our great State.”
“I will have no further comment. Thank you.”
ORIGINAL ARTICLE: House Speaker J.D. Mesnard (R-17) released the investigative report on sexual harassment allegations against Representatives Don Shooter (R-13) and Michelle Ugenti-Rita (R-23). Speaker Mesnard also announced several actions in response to the report and scheduled a press conference for 4:00 p.m. to discuss those actions.
The report concluded that there is credible evidence that Representative Shooter violated the House of Representative’s policy against sexual harassment. The report did not find credible evidence that Representative Ugenti-Rita violated House policy.
Speaker Mesnard reacted to the report by outlining several remedial actions:
- Speaker Mesnard is permanently removing Representative Shooter from all committee assignments effective immediately.
- Speaker Mesnard will furthermore introduce a resolution on the House Floor censuring Representative Shooter for his behavior.
- Speaker Mesnard will propose augmenting the House rules, which carry the force of law, to require a formal anti-harassment policy by which all Members must abide.
- Speaker Mesnard will also propose adding a House rule requiring a formal behavioral code of conduct for all Members.
- Speaker Mesnard will establish a bipartisan panel of Members to fully and transparently develop the behavioral code of conduct for House members.
- Speaker Mesnard, in his capacity as Speaker, will develop a code of conduct that will apply to all House staff.
- Speaker Mesnard will formalize a Human Resources Department for the House.
- Speaker Mesnard will prohibit the consumption of alcohol on House premises.