Does Luke Simons Deserve to be Removed From North Dakota Legislature?
After Representative Luke Simons cussed out Representative Karla Rose Hanson over "masking up" in the Capitol, Legislative Council Director John Bjornson released a 14-page document with other accounts of inappropriate behavior by Simons. Now, we are waiting to find out if the representative from Dickinson will be removed from the North Dakota Legislature.
There is a lot of information about this story of how Rep. Luke Simons conducts himself in a professional setting. We can start where I did when researching the information - the redacted 14-pages of formal complaints and other documentation:
- March 21, 2018 Complaint
- He commented on accuser's eyelashes, saying they were "very beautiful, sort of like his wife's" during the 2017 legislative session.
- He gave her an unsolicited shoulder massage at an interim Judiciary Committee hearing.
- He called about a work matter, but also talked about "shopping for thongs at Victoria's Secret" for his wife, that he wears thongs, and that he was once approached by security at a Montana shopping center for carrying a weapon.
- November 15, 2018 Complaint
- He made an example of "immune from liability" by saying that he would not be guilty of sexual harassment if he needed to remove her shirt in order to "administer aid to a wound," in the case that he found her lying on the side of the road after an accident.
- He compared her to Quarter Horses and Thoroughbreds, "kind of like his wife," during a discussion about livestock.
- March 14, 2019 Complaint
- A different accuser claims he slid papers across her desk, told her the stain on it was chocolate ice cream and that she could "lick and sniff it."
- He briefly crossed paths with the accuser's son before this meeting, and later told the accuser, "it would be really bad if [he] was driving [his] car and ran over [my] son.''
- March 22, 2019 Report
- When confronted by Bjornson and Representative Louser about the complaints, Rep. Simons got defensive saying that the accusers were out to get him and that the reason he's in office is because of "not being politically correct and fighting against overly sensitive people."
- August 14, 2020 North Dakota Legislative Council
- He threatened to "throw out all staff - clean house"
- He did not feel comfortable coming to the office because of "Liberals on legal staff"
- January 27, 2021 Complaint
- Representative Brandy Pyle emails Bjornson about Simons' interaction with an intern - he said comments like "I would like to put my hands in your hair."
- February 1, 2021 Complaint
- The same intern told another accuser that Simons told Pyle that the intern "looked like a school girl" after he saw an old picture of her with bangs.
- Accuser said Simons also told the intern he "could tell a lot about a woman based on her hair and that she wouldn't want more hair because she then she would look Chinese or Indian."
You can get more details on the documented instances and allegations concerning Simons' behavior towards fellow legislative staff AND see that he was not allowed to work with women (except those who "okayed" working with him) in the documents here.
And we can't forget about the statement Representative Emily O'Brien posted on Facebook:
After all of this was revealed, Simons was asked to resign from the Legislature or face the possibility of forcibly being removed. Simons does not think he did anything wrong, other than acting unlike the Christian he is. He also believes that this is all politically motivated.
It is clear that Representative Luke Simons has a history of unprofessionalism, and that he is not sorry for his blatant misogyny. So, does Luke Simons Deserve to be removed from North Dakota Legislature?
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