On Monday, The Daily Beast reported that GOP North Dakota state Rep. Luke Simons is facing allegations of sexual harassment against staff members, interns, and a fellow Republican lawmaker. That lawmaker claims he created such a hostile environment that she moved her desk just so she wouldn't have to sit next to him.
"In a Saturday statement, Rep. Emily O'Brien (R-Grand Forks) said the inappropriate behavior by Rep. Luke Simons (R-Dickinson) became so bad that her colleagues had to help her relocate to a desk 'further away from him,'" reported Pilar Melendez. "The move was made 'under the pretense that my pregnancy required closer proximity to a restroom rather than addressing his harassing behavior,' she explained."
She added that, "Mine is just one of many instances that were handled by avoiding the real issue. If you have endured similar harassment, now is the time to speak up, and now is the time to demand action."
Simons, according to a legislative investigation, allegedly made unwanted advances towards legislative staff, talked about shopping for thong underwear with women, and gave a "shoulder massage" to one staffer. O'Brien says that, "Every couple of days he'd walk by and give me the up-down," that he would tell her she must be a "very good secretary for her boss" who should feel lucky she's allowed to work in the Capitol, and that he would ask her who was doing the dishes and laundry in her house if she had to work.
House Majority Leader Chet Pollert has called on Simons to resign and threatened to begin expulsion proceedings, saying, "While we have previously worked with various individuals to resolve issues with Representative Simons' inappropriate behavior, it is clear further action must be taken."