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Ethics Complaint 03-19-12

Ethics Complaint 03-19-12

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Published by: tom_scheck on Mar 19, 2012
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03/19/2012

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Senate
StateofMinnesota
March19,2012SenatorMichelleFischbach,ChairSenateRulesSubcommitteeonEthicalConduct226StateCapitolBuilding75ReverendMartinLutherKingJr.Blvd.St.Paul,MN.55155DearMadamChair,AttachedtothisletterisacomplaintregardingtheconductofSenatorGeoffMichel.ThiscomplaintispreparedpursuanttotheprovisionsofSenatePermanentRule55.Bythedeliveryofthisletterandattachedcomplaint,itisherbyfiledpursuanttoRule55.IaskfortheSubcommitteeonEthicalConducttoinvestigatethesemattersandtakeactioninaccordancewiththisRule.IlookforwardtotheSubcommitteeactingonthiscomplaint.Sincerely,
 
COMPLAINT
TOTHE
SUBCOMMITTEEONETHICALCONDUCTREGARDINGTHEACTIONSOFSENATORGEOFFMICHEL
SenatorSandraPappasbeingfirstdulysworn,statesandallegesunderoaththefollowingbaseduponinformationandbelief:1.OnDecember16,2011,thenInterimSenateMajorityLeaderGeoffMichel,alongwithSenatorDavidSenjem,SenatorDavidHann,andSenatorChrisGerlach,madeapublicstatementatapressconferenceinroom123oftheMinnesotaStateCapitolbuilding.2.Atthispressconference,SenatorMichelspokeabouttheeventsleadinguptotheresignationofSenatorAmyKochasMajorityLeaderoftheMinnesotaSenate.SenatorKochhadresignedherpositionasSenateMajorityLeaderinapublicletteronDecember15,2011.3.Atthispressconference,SenatorMichelstatedthefollowing:"overthecourseofthelastseveralweeks,membersofthesenatestaff,currentsenatestaffmembers,broughtforwardtoatleasttwoofushereatthetable,someseriousallegationsofaninappropriaterelationshipbetweentheMajorityLeaderandasenatestaffer."4.Laterinthepressconference,variousreporterssoughtclarificationofhowandwhenSenatorMichelbecameawareofanallegedinappropriaterelationshipbetweentheSenateMajorityLeaderandsubordinatesenateemployee,includingthefollowingseparateexchanges:
(a)Reporter:
"Dideachofthefiveofyoureceivecomplaints[fromsenateemployees]orwasitjustoneofyou,andyoubroughtintheothers?Howdidthatwork?"
Sen.Michel:
"Morethanoneofusandmorethanonecomplaint,again,nottryingtodancearoundthatDon,butwewanttobesensitivetothoseemployeeswhocameforward."
(b)Reporter:
"Soyoufolksdidnotknowaboutthisrelationshipbeforethestaffcametoyou?"
Sen.Michel:
"Correct."
(c)Reporter:
"Andthefirstcomplaintwasabouttwoweeksago?"
Sen.Michel:
"Yes.Thedaysarestartingtomeldintoeachotherhere,Rachel."
 
(d)Reporter:
"Yousaidthatyouhadbeenhearingaboutthisforsomeweeks,whydidittakeyouthatlongifthispossiblyhaslegalramifications?"
Sen.Michel:
"Ithinkit's,it'sdependingonthemember.I'vesaidweeks,that'scertainlytruefrommy,mypersonalknowledgeas,aspeopleapproachedme,andIwasdoingsome,again,someimmediatecheckingwith,onthehumanresources,andthelegalissuesofthis,andthenreachedouttosomeofmycolleagueshereontheleadershipteam."5.InaninterviewwithMinnesotaPublicRadiothatwasbroadcastonDecember21,2011,formerSenateRepublicanCaucuschiefofstaff,CullenSheehan,statedthefollowing:"Threemonthsago,IbecameawareofapotentialrelationshipbetweenSen.Kochandastaffperson."6.Mr.Sheehan'scommentscontinued:"Ithenspoketothestaffpersonandheconfirmedtherelationship.WeboththenmetwithSen.Kochandsheconfirmedtherelationship.ThenextdayImetwithSen.Kochtodiscussthesituation.IsubsequentlymetwiththeDeputyMajorityLeader."7.TheDecember21MinnesotaPublicRadioreportstated,"SheehanisalsothefirstpersontoreportaninappropriaterelationshipbetweenKochandamalestaffer.HesaidhefirstlearnedoftherelationshiponSept.21."8.TheDecember
21
MinnesotaPublicRadioreportalsostated,"MichelsaidhecontactedsenatehumanresourcesofficersandlawyersonSept.23tostartinvestigatingKoch'sbehavior."9.InaradiointerviewwithRonRosenbaumthatwasbroadcastonDecember31,2011,SenatorMichelassertedwhenhefirstbecameawareofanallegedinappropriaterelationshipbetweentheSenateMajorityLeaderandasubordinatesenateemployee,saying:"Icansharewithyouthat,IguessthefirstconversationsthatIhadaboutthisdatebacktotheendofSeptember,andthat'swhenourchiefofstaffcametomewithnewsorrevelationsthatwerestunningandhardformetobelieve,difficultformetobelieve,andsomethingIdidn'twanttobelieve,butalsorecognizedthesignificanceofitandtheneedtoact."

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