Arizona state senator accused of workplace harassment

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Image Source: Arizona Legislature

Accusations of workplace harassment by an Arizona state senator will be reviewed by the chairman of the state Senate Ethics Committee.

Republican state Sen. Sine Kerr, who chairs the ethics committee, will review the complaint and response before she recommends any possible action involving GOP state Sen. Wendy Rogers.

Rogers has been accused of berating a former legislative assistant for his weight and other issues. Michael Polloni, who left Rogers’ office in January, also accused the state senator of taking his belongings and breaking an Eagle Scout plaque, the Arizona Capitol Times reported.

Rogers urged the ethics committee to dismiss the complaint and said in a two-page letter sent Monday that the allegations were fabricated.

“I believe the allegation by the Complainant alleging I created a hostile work environment is not true; therefore, the alleged, untrue allegations do not constitute improper conduct that adversely reflects upon the Senate,” Rogers wrote. “This alleged personnel matter is not a matter of Senate ethics.”

Polloni said the state senator’s behavior became more aggressive after the assistant contracted the coronavirus and had to stay home for 10 days. Rogers pestered him to return to work and when he did, Polloni said, Rogers questioned whether he had actually been sick.

Polloni also alleged that Rogers almost hurt his hand when she slammed a door and that, during a tirade, she yelled at him so close that he could feel spit hit his face.

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This story has been corrected to say the assistant claimed his hand was almost hurt when the door was slammed, not actually hurt.

Republished with the permission of the Associated Press.