The Latest: Arizona House member sorry for improper comments
PHOENIX (AP) — The Latest on sexual harassment training for members of the Arizona House of Representatives. (all times local):
Arizona state Rep. Don Shooter has apologized to fellow House members at the start of mandatory sexual harassment training required in large part because of complaints made against him.
The Yuma Republican was at points emotional during his Tuesday morning statement. He apologized for actions he acknowledged were “jarring, insensitive and demeaning.”
Still, Shooter denied the most serious complaint against him — that he pressed Rep, Michelle Ugenti-Rita to have a sexual relationship with him. Ugenti-Rita was in the chamber when Shooter read his statement and appeared shaken at times. She left the House floor soon after Shooter stopped talking but returned a while later.
An investigation into Shooter’s actions is ongoing and he has been removed as head of the appropriations committee.
All 60 members of the Arizona House are set to receive training on sexual harassment and other ethical issues.
Tuesday’s training session comes as an investigation into harassment complaint made in October by a female lawmaker against Rep. Don Shooter continues. Shooter has been removed as head of the appropriations committee but remains a member.
Arizona House Speaker J.D. Mesnard called for an end to sexual harassment at the state Capitol during Monday’s opening day session. He apologized to women who felt unsafe.
Mesnard said he was disheartened by reports of harassment in the House and called on all men to act like gentlemen and treat all women like they would like their wives or mothers to be treated.
Mesnard created a written House harassment policy after the allegations emerged.