Senate GOP, Dem leaders ask for formal investigation into sexual harassment allegations against Lucido

By: - January 15, 2020 4:06 pm

Michigan State Senate | Susan J. Demas

State Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey (R-Clarklake) and Senate Minority Leader Jim Ananich (D-Flint) on Wednesday afternoon wrote the Senate Business Office asking for a formal investigation into sexual harassment allegations against state Sen. Peter Lucido (R-Shelby Twp).

Michigan Advance reporter Allison Donahue tried to interview Lucido for a story on Tuesday while the senator was with a group of De La Salle Collegiate male students. Among his comments were: “You should hang around! You could have a lot of fun with these boys, or they could have a lot of fun with you.”

The story has since been reported by a number of Michigan and national outlets, including the New York Post, WXYZ-TV and the Washington Examiner.

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Both Shirkey and Ananich criticized Lucido’s remarks while speaking with reporters Wednesday morning. Shirkey called them “very inappropriate” and Ananich said they were “disgusting,” adding, “That’s not how we’re supposed to act as senators; that’s not how we’re supposed to act as men, as leaders in this state, this country, this community.”

Lucido has only issued a brief statement: “I apologize for the misunderstanding yesterday and for offending Allison Donahue.” He has not reached out to Donahue or the Advance.

On Wednesday afternoon, the two top leaders in the Senate released a letter sent to the Senate Business Office, writing, “On behalf of Senators and staff, we are writing today regarding a recent incident of alleged harassment that occurred in the Senate. While you are likely aware of the situation, we feel an obligation to bring this matter to your attention pursuant to the Michigan Senate Policy and Procedure Manual.”

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The senators attached a copy of Donahue’s Wednesday morning Michigan Advance story detailing her exchanges with Lucido and requested that “you review the attached article and investigate these allegations promptly and thoroughly according to the Senate Rules and the Senate Policy and Procedure Manual.”

The letter concludes with: “Sexual harassment has no place in the Michigan Senate. We take these allegations very seriously and trust that you will take appropriate action to resolve this matter.”

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Susan J. Demas

Susan J. Demas is a 22-year journalism veteran and one of the state’s foremost experts on Michigan politics, appearing on MSNBC, CNN, NPR and WKAR-TV’s “Off the Record.” In addition to serving as Editor-in-Chief, she is the Advance’s chief columnist, writing on women, LGBTQs, the state budget, the economy and more. For almost five years, Susan was the Editor and Publisher of Inside Michigan Politics, the most-cited political newsletter in the state. Susan’s award-winning political analysis has run in more than 80 national, international and regional media outlets, including the Guardian U.K., NBC News, the New York Times, the Detroit News and MLive.