Multiple GOP House Reps Accused Of Sexual Misconduct & Racism

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The Ohio House of Representative appears to be an environment filled with sexual and racist misconduct. A Latina legislative aid has come forward to accuse three state GOP representatives and additional staff members of making her life miserable. This was how she handled it.

After the former speaker of the House Republican Representative Larry Householder offered racial sensitivity training, legislative aide Marissa Reyes wrote a letter to her own representative Kristin Boggs (D-Columbus), The Cincinnati Enquirer reported:

‘These experiences have been among the worst in my life. I have been deeply affected on a day-to-day basis. (Please do not) support a leadership team that promises to solve problems that they themselves are perpetuating. I do not advocate for any candidate for Speaker. I just hope the people who have treated me in these ways are not put in greater positions of authority.’

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Former representative Wes Retherford (R-Hamilton) was at the House Christmas party. At that time, he was “drinking heavily,” and he made suggestive comments to Reyes. She described what happened:

‘He caused a scene by screaming and threatening myself and other female House aides not to discuss events from that night and remarked to me at a different point that he would “prefer to see me with my dress off.”‘

Months after she started her job, Representative Scott Wiggam (R-Wooster) made “degrading comments” concerning her ethnicity and gender. Reyes wrote that he called her “the good type of Mexican:’

‘During my time as a staffer in this office, I had to endure months of unacceptable treatment and was forced to listen to the Representative’s opinions that painted myself, my family and other Hispanics in a demeaning light. When I respectfully disagreed with the Representative about an issue, I was told that “women do not think logically, they think with their hearts not with their brains.”‘

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Naturally, Wiggam disagreed with her claims and called for a complete investigation into the matter:

‘I hope attorneys are involved. I think we need to get to the bottom of this.’

Reyes also wrote about an incident when she and Representative Derek Merrin (R-Monclova) were at a legislative fundraiser. She was talking to others about her hometown in southern Texas when he came up and said:

‘Mexicans are dangerous people.’

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She continued:

‘He went on to tell a story of how he was “nearly killed” by a group of Mexican thugs while visiting Mexico.’

Reyes wrote about an environment of unwanted advances and stereotyping of her Hispanic heritage among the staff members. She said they called her “the help” and “that Indian girl.” One suggested she change her name from Marissa to Maria to sound more Mexican. They told her:

‘Mexicans are taking over the United States, but Trump will take care of them. It never occurred to me that at such a prestigious institution, my dark hair and olive complexion would subject me to such unwarranted racist and sexist behavior.’

House GOP spokesperson Brad Miller said:

‘The House always encourages staff to bring forward allegations of harassment and discrimination and to file complaints, which is outlined in the House Administrative Reference Guide, and this remains a priority.’

Representative Theresa Gavarone (R-Bowling Green) wrote:

‘I am disgusted by the recent revelations a brave staff member brought to light today.’

Representative Steve Arndt (R-Port Clinton) agreed that Reyes did not deserve to be treated that way:

‘I understood you had issues with your boss but not nearly to this extent. On behalf of the Ohio House, I am outraged for this conduct and apologize to you.’

Even Wiggam had a few words to say:

‘I’m completely sickened and saddened by this kind of attack.’

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Featured image is a screenshot via YouTube.