U.S. lawmaker probed on sex reports,
second congressman denies charges
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[December 16, 2017]
By Lisa Lambert
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. House of
Representatives Ethics Committee said on Friday it had begun an
investigation into public reports that Democrat Ruben Kihuen engaged in
sexual harassment, and a second lawmaker denied a former aide's
allegations of sexual misconduct.
The ethics panel said that announcing the probe was not a sign the
committee already had determined the Nevada representative violated any
ďAs Iíve said previously, I intend to fully cooperate, and I welcome an
opportunity to clear my name," said Kihuen in a statement provided to
The news website Buzzfeed has reported that Kihuen, currently finishing
his first year in Congress, harassed a staff member on his 2016
political campaign, and on Thursday there were multiple reports of an
anonymous lobbyist's description of his unwanted advances. Reuters has
not independently confirmed the reports.
Lawmakers from both U.S. political parties have recently been ensnared
in allegations of sexual misconduct, prompting the committee to launch a
probe this month of all House members and their staffs.
On Friday a second Democratic congressman, Bobby Scott of Virginia, was
accused by former legislative aide Macherie Reese Everton of touching
her leg and back without permission in 2013 and offering to advance her
career in exchange for sex and said she was wrongfully dismissed from
Scott, who has served 25 years in Congress, rejected Everton's charges
and said he had never sexually harassed anyone.
"I absolutely deny this allegation of misconduct," he said in a
statement. "I am confident that this false allegation will be seen for
what it is when the facts are adequately reviewed."
[to top of second column]
Nevada State Senator Ruben J. Kihuen speaks on the final day of the
Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.
July 28, 2016. REUTERS/Mike Segar
Reuters has not independently verified the claims.
This week Republican Representative Blake Farenthold said he would
not seek re-election after accounts surfaced that he created a
hostile work environment.
In a Facebook post, Farenthold denied allegations of sexual
harassment by former staff members but admitted he allowed an
unprofessional culture to flourish in his Capitol Hill office.
Members of Congress are working on legislation to update the body's
rules on sexual harassment.
Representative Carolyn Maloney said she will introduce a bill on
Friday that says companies cannot block sexual harassment victims
from publicly disclosing the details of their allegations, which
often are included in settlement agreements.
Allegations of misconduct in recent weeks have also been made
against movie-makers, television interviewers and other men in the
(Reporting by Lisa Lambert; Editing by Cynthia Osterman and Clive
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