Ex-lawmaker declines board seat after harassment claim
PIERRE, S.D. (AP) — A former South Dakota legislator named to the state Board of Pardons and Paroles has withdrawn from consideration after a past lobbyist accused him of sexual harassment.
The Argus Leader reports Gene Abdallah, a former U.S. Marshal and state Highway Patrol superintendent, said in a letter to Attorney General Marty Jackley that poor health would prevent him from serving.
The move comes after former lobbyist Tiffany Campbell late last year alleged that Abdallah asked to go to the restroom with her to watch her while they discussed legislation at a bar in 2012.
Jackley appointed the 81-year-old Abdallah to the board in fall 2017. Abdallah in the letter criticized the allegations as “false attacks” leveled for political gain.
Abdallah, who was a representative at the time, has said he never met Campbell.
Information from: Argus Leader, http://www.argusleader.com