The Latest: Senator’s attorney disputes harassment claims
ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — The Latest on Minnesota state lawmakers resigning after a string of sexual harassment allegations (all times local):
An attorney for a Minnesota state senator accused of sexual harassment is raising questions about two of his accusers.
Sen. Dan Schoen, a Democrat, announced Tuesday he would resign. Schoen was accused by Lindsey Port, a Democratic political candidate, of commenting on her appearance and groping her buttocks at a campaign appearance.
Schoen also was accused by state Rep. Erin Maye Quade of unwanted advances by text.
Schoen’s attorney Paul Rogosheske says several witnesses at the event attended by Port say they saw no groping. And Rogosheske says Maye Quade misinterpreted a text from Schoen that was intended for someone else.
Rogosheske also noted that Port’s business partner is running for state auditor and suggested the accusations may have been intended to derail a competing bid by Schoen.
Maye Quade declined to comment on Rogosheske’s statements. Port was traveling Wednesday and didn’t respond to messages.
This story corrects the spelling of Maye.
Gov. Mark Dayton says the resignations of two lawmakers accused of sexual harassment are important first steps to cleaning up sexual misconduct at the Capitol.
Democratic Sen. Dan Schoen was set to announce his resignation Wednesday from a Cottage Grove-area district after he was accused by several women in politics of groping or unwanted advances. Republican Rep. Tony Cornish announced Tuesday he’d leave his seat by Dec. 1 after accusations including a lobbyist who said he propositioned her for sex dozens of times.
Dayton had called on both men to resign. Their seats will be filled by special elections.
Dayton says he plans to meet with party leaders next week to discuss the timing of those elections. He hopes both seats will be filled when the Legislature resumes in late February.
Minnesota state Sen. Dan Schoen is set to announce his resignation amid a cloud of sexual harassment allegations.
But it appears the Democratic senator won’t go down quietly at a Wednesday news conference. His attorney told the Star Tribune Schoen would resign dispute several accusations.
Schoen allegedly grabbed a woman’s buttocks at a Democratic party event and sent a female Senate staffer photos of male genitalia on Snapchat. The allegations triggered widespread calls for his resignation.
Attorney Paul Rogosheske says Schoen “doesn’t want to work in an environment like this.” Republican Rep. Tony Cornish also resigned Tuesday after a slew of accusations.
The status of his job as an officer with the Cottage Grove Police Department was also unclear. The department put him on administrative duties after allegations surfaced.