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Following "idiotic" comment to female reporter, Sen. Lucido faces formal inquiry, second accusation

Senator Peter Lucido
Senator Peter Lucido

A Republican state lawmaker faces a formal investigation into whether he sexually harassed a young journalist.

According to her account published in Michigan Advance, Allison Donahue was standing outside the Senate chamber with a group of high school boys from Senator Pete Lucido’s (R-Shelby Township) district.

Donahue says the senator told her, “You could have a lot of fun with these boys, or they could have a lot of fun with you.”

Senate Democratic Leader Jim Ananich (D-Flint) called Lucido’s comment “idiotic.”

“I think everyone whose profession it is to report the news should be offended that he treated someone that way, and I think everyone in this building should be offended,” said Ananich. “The unfortunate part is people are allowed to elect jerks.”

Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey (R-Clarklake) called Lucido’s behavior “unacceptable.”

“If those words that were reported were accurate, it’s very unacceptable. And that’s all I’ve got to say about it,” he said.

Shirkey and Ananich jointly announced the inquiry.

Lucido has apologized for what he calls “a misunderstanding.”

Update, Tuesday January 21, 2020:

Sen. Lucido is now facing a second sexual harassment complaint. Sen. Mallory McMorrow said in a story published this morning by Crain's Business Detroit that she is planning to file a sexual harassment complaint against Lucido, alleging the senator months ago touched her lower back and made an inappropriate comment.

McMorrow says that during an orientation for lawmakers days after the November 2018 election, she introduced herself to Lucido, and that he put his arm around her, touching her lower back and hips during their conversation. McMorrow also alleges that when she told Lucido who she defeated in her campaign, he eyed her body and replied, "I can see why."

In a text message to Crain's, Lucido said McMorrow's allegation was "completely untrue and politcally motivated."

“There’s always going to be awkward moments. We deal with sensitive issues," McMorrow said. "Politics is divisive enough as it is. It has to be a place where we can act together as colleagues, and understand that this is a workplace for everybody in this building.”

McMorrow plans to file a formal complaint with the Senate Business Office Tuesday.

Amber McCann, press secretary for Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey says outside legal counsel will be hired to assist in the inquiry. She says it’s too early in the process to discuss possible consequences.

Lucido has denied the allegations.

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Rick Pluta is Senior Capitol Correspondent for the Michigan Public Radio Network. He has been covering Michigan’s Capitol, government, and politics since 1987.
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