North Dakota House expels lawmaker accused of misconduct

National

State Rep. Luke Simons, R-Dickinson, is shown in the North Dakota House chamber on Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2021, n Bismarck, N.D. Lawyers for the North Dakota Legislature have documented allegations of sexual harassment and threats against them and others by Republican lawmaker Luke Simons, and have forwarded a file to legislative leaders for potential action that may lead to possible censure or expulsion. Legislative Council Director John Bjornson said he decided to release the documents Thursday, Feb. 24, 2021, after an incident Tuesday at the Capitol cafeteria where Simons accosted a pair of Democratic lawmakers in a profane outburst over a disagreement about wearing a mask. (Blake Nicholson/The Bismarck Tribune via AP)

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — The North Dakota House has expelled a lawmaker accused of threatening and sexually harassing women at the Capitol.

The resolution to expel GOP Rep. Luke Simons was approved 69-25 on Thursday.

It was the first time since statehood a lawmaker has been expelled from the Legislature.

Simons denied wrongdoing and refused Republican leaders’ calls to resign.

The rancher and barber is accused of a pattern of sexually aggressive, lewd, and threatening behavior, dating back to shortly after he took office in 2017.

A 14-page document compiled by the nonpartisan Legislative Council includes allegations that Simons made “advances” toward female staffers and interns, commented on their appearances and tried to give one staffer an unsolicited shoulder massage.

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