Sen. Peter Lucido likely engaged in sexual inappropriate behavior.
Three women have come forward to file complaints against Michigan state Senator Peter Lucido for sexual harassment. An internal investigation into the matter was conducted and officials have found the Shelby Township Republican engaged in “inappropriate workplace behavior.”
“The investigation concluded that Sen. Lucido’s conduct demonstrates an unfortunate pattern of behavior that requires little to no interpretation to be understood as inappropriate workplace behavior,” the investigators stated in a written report.
Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey, R-Clarklake, has removed Lucido from the Advice and Consent committee, where he served as chairman. Lucido has also been ordered to participate in workplace training. He will remain chairman of the Judiciary committee, however, and a member of the Elections and Ethics and Oversight committees.
“We place a high priority on ensuring the Senate is a safe work environment. We endeavor to foster a culture where senators, staff and members of the public feel comfortable and secure to interact with one another, free from inappropriate behavior,” Shirkey said. “We have a responsibility to be aware of how our words and actions are received, regardless of intent or interpretation…We take accusations of inappropriate behavior in the workplace very seriously. It is my sincere hope that this experience will help serve as motivation for us all to do better and be better in our personal interactions and our public discourse.”
The investigation ensued after three women filed complaints stating Lucido made “sexist remarks” and “visually scanned them in a way that made them feel uncomfortable while holding a hand low on their backs near their upper rear ends.”
The first complaint came from Michigan Advance reporter Allison Donahue, who said she “approached Lucido for an interview outside the Senate chamber in January. The Senator was talking at the time with male students from De La Salle High School, a Catholic school in Warren, and told her, ‘You could have a lot of fun with these boys, or they could have a lot of fun with you.’”
Senator Mallory McMorrow, D-Royal Oak, and Michigan Credit Union League regulatory affairs specialist Melissa Osborn also submitted complaints. Both women said Lucido made sexist remarks and touched them inappropriately
McMorrow said, “It’s validating to know that your reports are taken seriously and considered credible. My hope is that it gives more women comfort in knowing that you have recourse and a path forward.”
As for the actions taken against Lucido, McMorrow added, “I said from the beginning, it’s not my place to determine what the punishment is. The results will remain to be seen. If a year from now, nothing’s changed, then I think that will send the message that this (punishment) wasn’t enough.”
Shirkey and Senate Minority Leader Jim Ananich, D-Flint, originally ordered the investigation. Three investigators interviewed 25 people and determined the allegationos couldn’t be “unequivocally substantiated,” but similarities of the encounters and the number of complaints enabled them to validate their legitimacy.
“The investigators found all the accusers to be credible,” the report said.
“And things have already started to change in Lansing,” McMorrow said. She added she has “had frank discussions with male colleagues on the issue of workplace behavior,” and one female lobbyist told her “people are going out of their way to be cognizant of how they’re physically interacting with people.” She’s noticed “significantly more handshakes and less hugs or kisses on the cheek.”