Speaker-elect McCall to authorize investigation of sexual harassment
Team Radio Marketing Group - December 29, 2016 11:52 am
OKLAHOMA CITY – Oklahoma House of Representatives Speaker-elect Charles A. McCall today announced his first action upon formally becoming Speaker on Jan. 3 will be to authorize the bipartisan House Rules Committee to begin investigating the wrongful termination settlement agreement paid to a former employee in November out of House funds.
The committee will begin meeting in January and will have “special authority” to investigate that settlement, the allegations that led to the settlement and the House process for dealing with allegations of sexual harassment. In addition, the committee will review the authority of the House to use operational funds to settle claims and will also review all prior sexual harassment allegations against current House members.
McCall said all findings by the committee will be made public, and the House will take any available actions against lawmakers warranted by the investigation.
“There is simply no excuse for sexual harassment by lawmakers at the Capitol,” said McCall, R-Atoka. “The House of Representatives should be a safe and professional place to work, free of any form of discrimination or harassment. Voters have given us the privilege of representing them, and it is a high honor with special duties attached. Workplace misconduct by lawmakers will simply not be tolerated under my leadership.”
Earlier, McCall appointed state Rep. Josh Cockroft (R-Wanette) to serve as chair of the House Rules Committee, and state Rep. Kevin West (R-Moore) to serve as vice chair. The members of the committee will be announced soon.
The House is unique in that it has no presiding officer between Nov. 23, 2016, and Organizational Day on Jan. 3, 2017, which is the first day the committee could be appointed by McCall to investigate the matter.