In a statement, North Dakota’s Republican House leadership is calling for the resignation of Dickinson Rep. Luke Simons.
The call to resign comes on the heels of a history of allegations of inappropriate behavior becoming public on Thursday. Documents from Legislative Council dating back to 2018 show that House leaders knew about the issue — but seemingly, the only action taken was a ban on his interaction with women in Legislative Council.
House Majority Leader Chet Pollert’s statement calls for Simons to step down and says “Should he refuse, the legislature will weigh all the information and options, including expulsion.”
Pollert goes on to say the legislature will be creating a more formal reporting process to increase the awareness of instances involving legislators. The 14-page document outlines a pattern of lewd, and in some cases threatening comments Simons made to female employees.
The statement from House leadership also says “Sexual harassment in any form is unacceptable and accusing staff and fellow legislators of lying about harassment is inexcusable.”
Simons denies all allegations, and in multiple Facebook posts Thursday, claimed they are untrue and politically motivated.
A statement from the Governor’s office says “The governor was not previously aware of the reports and is deeply troubled by them. He respects the responsibility of the Legislature to deal with such matters involving its members and believes elected leaders must hold themselves to a higher standard.”