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ND House GOP calls on Simons to resign

Rep. Luke Simons, R-Dickinson
Rep. Luke Simons, R-Dickinson(KFYR)
Published: Feb. 26, 2021 at 2:07 PM CST
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BISMARCK, N.D. (KFYR) - The North Dakota Republican leadership is calling on Rep. Luke Simons, R-Dickinson, to resign from the State Legislature following reports of misconduct became public this week.

Simons is accused of speaking inappropriately, giving unsolicited shoulder messages, and other “really creepy” behavior with legislative attorneys.

In a statement, party leadership said: “Sexual harassment in any form is unacceptable and accusing staff and fellow legislators of lying about harassment is inexcusable... The legislature is committed to providing the most professional and comfortable work environment for legislators and staff to do their jobs for the people of North Dakota. We will continue to do whatever is necessary to ensure that.”

If Simons refuses, which he argues he has no reason to, the letter says the legislature will consider all options of punishment, including expulsion.

The letter goes on to say they will be establishing a more formal reporting process for future instances.

We will have more information on this as it develops.

Many members of Republican party have voiced their support of some form of punishment.

The State GOP said in a statement: “Information shared with us this week shows a pattern of behavior that we at NDGOP do not tolerate. We fully support any action the House Leaders deem appropriate.”

Majority Leader Chet Pollert sent this following release:

The actions of Representative Simons this week were wrong. In investigating this incident, many more instances of troubling and inappropriate behavior have come to our attention.

Sexual harassment in any form is unacceptable and accusing staff and fellow legislators of lying about harassment is inexcusable. Information provided to us by Legislative Council this week, as well as Representative Simons’ subsequent actions, show a pattern of behavior that we do not tolerate and that violate our rules against workplace harassment.

Assistant Leader Louser and I have always encouraged anyone with concerns about inappropriate behavior to come talk to us and to file a complaint if they so choose. While we have previously worked with various individuals to resolve issues with Representative Simons’ inappropriate behavior, it is clear further action must be taken. Therefore, as of today, we are calling on Representative Simons to resign from his seat. Should he refuse, the legislature will weigh all the information and options, including expulsion, and make a determination when we reconvene after crossover. We want to make clear that this behavior will not be accepted at the Legislature.

We will also be establishing a more formal reporting process between Leadership and Legislative Council that will increase awareness of instances involving legislators while also preserving victim confidentiality.

The legislature is committed to providing the most professional and comfortable work environment for legislators and staff to do their jobs for the people of North Dakota. We will continue to do whatever is necessary to ensure that.

Majority Leader Chet Pollert

Assistant Majority Leader Scott Louser

House Caucus Chair Representative Glenn Bosch

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