Mattiello backs office to investigate State House sexual harassment

Politics
Mattiello__Ruggerio_re_elected_to_leader_0_20190102031254

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP/WPRI) — Rhode Island’s House speaker says he plans to create an office to investigate allegations of sexual harassment in the state legislature.

Democrat Nicholas Mattiello told WPRO-AM on Wednesday it’s “a little bit of a waste of resources” to hire an investigator when there’s “very few problems,” but everyone should be as protected as they can be and he won’t tolerate harassment.

Mattiello has said he’s working on legislation with Rep. Chris Blazejewski, creating a formal procedure for handling harassment allegations.

In October, WPRI 12 reported on a months-old email to Mattiello in which a lawmaker accused another lawmaker of harassment. Some criticized Mattiello for not doing more to address it.

Mattiello told WPRO he doesn’t want complaints to have to come to him, and the new office takes politics out of it.

State Sen. Sam Bell, D-Providence, questioned whether the speaker should have the power to appoint the individual who will investigate harassment, as well as whether the same person would have authority over the Senate.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Pinpoint Weather 12 Sidebar Widget

Don't Miss

Target 12

Live Cams