Report: Democratic Rep. Staples faces sexual misconduct investigation

Democratic state Rep. Rick Staples of Knoxville is the subject of an investigation into sexual misconduct allegations, according to The Tennesseans’ Joel Ebert and Natalie Allison.

A woman making the allegations tells the newspaper the lawmaker touched her inappropriately on a recent visit to the state Capitol complex. She says Staples made comments about her appearance before grabbing her and held on to her waist while standing behind her.

The woman reported the details of the encounter to House Democratic Caucus Chairman Mike Stewart of Nashville, but says she had to follow up with his office before receiving a reply. Stewart and Staples declined to comment to the Tennessean.

Staples could face disciplinary action including removal from the House Ethics Committee, to which he was appointed by House Speaker Glen Casada (R-Franklin) in January.

The woman bringing the allegations involved in state Democratic politics and says Staples had previously made inappropriate comments.

“My first day doing anything in politics, one of the very first things I heard was not to be alone in a room with Rick,” she told the newspaper.

Read the full report here.

2 Responses to Report: Democratic Rep. Staples faces sexual misconduct investigation

  • MarLE says:

    Ahhh…I see the confusion. This woman accuser was a Visitor to the legislature:

    “During the 30-minute training, held in the House chamber, …outlines examples of sexual harassment that are prohibited. The examples include “verbal, written, or physical conduct of a sexual nature by a manager, supervisor, or co-worker.”

  • Perry Aubric says:

    He should resign or be removed from office.

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