The Boston Globe is reporting that a state representative is being investigated after reports of inappropriate conduct during an event at UMass Amherst in December.
According to the Boston Globe, Massachusetts House Speaker Robert DeLeo is forming a special committee to investigate the allegations made against Representative Paul McMurtry.
The Globe reports that DeLeo’s office acknowledged that the speaker received secondhand reports from some lawmakers of “inappropriate conduct” from the December event. However, those lawmakers declined to say who they heard was involved.
Speaker DeLeo told 22News he is following all of the proper protocols.
“As Speaker, I kept to those rules and acted accordingly,” he said.
The matter was referred to an outside consultant, who determined that the allegation was plausible, the Globe reports.
Lawmakers passed changes to House procedures for dealing with instances of sexual harassment last March.
“One of the bills I am going to be filing later today with Senator Becca Rausch is going to be about establishing a safe workplace and an independent commission to deal with allegations of harassment and assault within the legislature,” said Rep. Lindsay Sabadosa.
According to the Globe, in an emailed statement, McMurtry forcefully denied the allegations, saying it was the first he had heard of them. He also indicated that he welcomed an investigation.
The incident allegedly took place was on December 13 at UMass Amherst. The school held a cocktail reception at the Old Chapel on campus as part of a three-day orientation for incoming senators and representatives, according to the Globe.
The Boston Globe reports McMurtry emailed a statement to the newspaper in which he forcefully denied the allegations. He also indicated that he welcomed an investigation.