Updated, 1:28 p.m., 1/16/19, noting the Detroit Free Press’ reporting
The Senate Business Office has launched a formal investigation into a report of sexual harassment against state Sen. Peter Lucido (R-Shelby Twp), but the results may not be released.
The investigation is headed up by Director Jordan Hankwitz.
Luicido told Michigan Advance reporter Allison Donahue on Tuesday that a group of visiting De La Salle Collegiate schoolboys “could have a lot of fun” with her. Donahue told Luicido that his comments were unprofessional, to which Luicido cut her off and told her, “I said it to an all girls’ school last week, ‘How would you like to have all the boys from the Senate come over?’”
Senate GOP spokesperson Amber McCann said Thursday she is unsure of the timeline for the investigation. It is up to the Business Office to decide if it will look outside of Tuesday’s incident for a history of harassment, she added, or if the investigation will be limited.
The Business Office is not required to release the findings of the investigation and Michigan’s Legislature is not subject to open records law.
“The policy of the Senate is to administer all consequences at the discretion of the majority leader,” McCann said. “It’s not been precedent to ever release any personnel files up to this point.”
State Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey (R-Clarklake) and Senate Minority Leader Jim Ananich (D-Flint) on Wednesday requested the investigation, saying the comments are unacceptable.
“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,” Ananich said.
When Donahue confronted Luicido on Tuesday during a recorded interview, he responded, “It was nothing disingenuous. It was no harm.” After the Advance‘s story was published Wednesday morning, Lucido told the Detroit Free Press in interview that he was not misquoted.* Luicido issued a brief statement on Wednesday: “I apologize for the misunderstanding yesterday and for offending Allison Donahue.”
On Wednesday afternoon, after a firestorm of national media attention, Luicido changed his story in TV interviews, claiming Donahue misquoted him. The Advance stands by the story.
McCann said Shirkey’s stance on the necessity of the investigation has not changed since Luicido has now denied his comments.
In her column for the Michigan Advance, Donahue recounted that she was at the Senate chamber on Tuesday to do her job and Luicido turned the interaction into an opportunity to humiliate a young reporter in front of a group of young boys from De La Salle Collegiate in Macomb County.
“The teenagers burst into an Old Boys’ Network-type of laughter, and I walked away knowing that I had been the punchline of their “locker room” talk,” Donahue said. “Except it wasn’t the locker room; it was the Senate chamber. And this isn’t high school. It’s my career.”
De La Salle has issued a formal apology and condemned Lucido’s remarks.
Senator Lucido’s comments do not represent De La Salle nor the values and conduct we instill in our young men. We are very sorry the reporter was put in this position and we have met with the boys who were on the tour to discuss the improper nature of this situation.
— De La Salle Collegiate (@delasallehs) January 15, 2020