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  • Aide details racist, sexist behavior from Ohio GOP lawmakers

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    January 10, 2019
    Read more from source Cincinnati.com

    COLUMBUS - A Latina legislative aide accused three GOP lawmakers and other staff linked to a candidate seeking to lead the Ohio House of Representatives of racist and sexist comments in a letter to a Democratic legislator Sunday. 

    “These experiences have been among the worst in my life. I have been deeply affected on a day-to-day basis,” legislative aide Marissa Reyes wrote in a two-page letter to Democratic Rep. Kristin Boggs, who represents the part of Columbus where the woman lives.

    She urged Boggs not to "support a leadership team that promises to solve problems that they themselves are perpetuating.”

    All the lawmakers accused of misconduct supported Rep. Larry Householder’s bid to lead the Ohio House of Representatives; no allegations were made against Householder.

    Householder, a former speaker, unseated current Speaker Ryan Smith in a Monday afternoon vote and will lead the chamber for the next two years. Democrats helped Householder win with 52 votes.

    Reyes posted the letter on Twitter about 24 hours before the vote. She now works for Rep. Bob Cupp, R-Lima, who voted for Smith.

    Reyes told The Enquirer her conscience compelled her to come forward after she read Householder was offering racial sensitivity training as a bargaining chip.

    "I do not advocate for any candidate for Speaker. I just hope the people who have treated me in these ways are not put in greater positions of authority," Reyes said in a text message.

    Wooster Rep. Scott Wiggam, Reyes' former boss, is one of the three lawmakers named in the letter. Wiggam told The Enquirer on Monday that the accusations were not true, and they appear to be politically motivated.

    Householder said after Monday's vote that allegations of misconduct have not been made of his staff and hopes past leadership reviewed Reyes' allegations.

    "I would think that there’s been a thorough investigation done," Householder said. "We’ll check on that.”

    Householder also said he wants to hire a human resources professional to address issues of harassment in the Ohio House. 

    “If there’s allegations that are made and are found to be true, it’s zero tolerance," Householder said.

    Read more from source Cincinnati.com