Four Democratic women in the Ohio Legislature are calling on Ohio House speaker to take action against a key Republican lawmaker for derogatory comments he recently made at a going away party for a former staffer.
House Speaker Cliff Rosenberger says Rep. Bill Seitz has admitted he shouldn’t have mocked some women lawmakers.
But four of Seitz’ Democratic female colleagues say they want Rosenberger to demand Seitz’s resignation.
“When an elected official in one of the highest positions of leadership in the General Assembly humiliates victims, mocks sexual harassment and alleged assault, Ohioans deserve a strong response," said Rep. Nickie Antonio.
Antonio, along with Kathleen Clyde, Teresa Fedor and Michelle Lapore-Hagan, have called for Seitz to resign. They told Rosenberger in a letter Thursday that his conduct was "a black eye on the institution."
Rosenberger wants a bipartisan focus group to take on the broader subject of sexual harassment “to make sure we are listening and hearing it out.” In a written statement, Rosenberger notes he’s invited two of the four women to join the bipartisan harassment and discrimination working group.
The 63-year-old Seitz reportedly disparaged a current and a former female House member during a January 23 roast honoring the outgoing House chief of staff, and made light of a sexual harassment scandal that led to a former Senate colleague's resignation last year. Seitz expressed regret for the remarks but said that he has no intention of resigning.
Seitz’s comments came just days after lawmakers went through sexual harassment training.