Utah Senate President Launches Investigation into Sexual Harassment Allegations Against Sen. Gene Davis

Utah Senate President Stuart Adams announced On Friday the Senate was launching an independent investigation to look into allegations that Sen. Gene Davis, D-Salt Lake City, sexually harassed one of its former interns.

Driving the news: Sonia Weglinski, who previously worked as a legislative intern and Davis employee this year, shared her experience on social media on Wednesday night.

What they say : “After reviewing the recommendations of the Legislative General Counsel and the Human Resources Administrator, I have ordered that an independent investigation be initiated to assess these allegations,” Adams said in a statement Friday.

  • In a previous statement released Thursday, Adams said he learned of the allegations online the day before.
  • “We take the recent allegations against Senator Davis very seriously and do not condone sexual harassment or any form of inappropriate conduct in the workplace,” Senate Democratic leaders said in a separate statement.

State of play: The announcement of the investigation comes a day after Salt Lake County Democratic Party Chairwoman Eva Lopez suspended Davis from party events.

  • Lopez told Axios on Thursday that the party has not yet received a formal complaint from Weglinski, but has invited her or anyone else to submit them.

Details: In an eight-slide Instagram post, Weglinski alleged that Davis would “constantly invade my personal boundaries,” put her arms around her waist, and play with her toes while she sat.

  • “I developed a close but professional relationship with my legislator. However, those professional lines quickly faded, and I didn’t realize it or really accept it until months later,” he said. -she writes.

To note : Although Axios doesn’t usually reveal the names of victims of sexual harassment, Weglinski shared her identity and allegations on her public Instagram account.

  • Neither Weglinski nor Davis responded to Axios’ requests for comment.

Go further: In an interview with Axios on Thursday, State Representative Angela Romero, D-Salt Lake City, said, “I hope this young woman knows she’s being supported and getting the services she needs to go forward.”

  • Romero, an advocate for sexual assault victims on Capitol Hill, added that no elected official should invade the personal space of his employees or trainees. If they do, they should quit, she said.

Rollback: This is the second time in the past two years that Davis has faced public accusations of sexual harassment by a legislative employee on social media.

  • Last year, a former legislative staffer, Elizabeth Converse, claimed in a Facebook post that Davis put his arm around her waist and made inappropriate comments to her, including suggesting she do body”.

Catch up fast: Davis, a former member of the Utah House, was first elected as a state legislator in 1987. He has served as a state senator since 1999.

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