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Outside Firm to Look Into Cornish Harassment Allegations

Rep. Tony Cornish (R-Vernon Center) denies allegations of sexual harassment. Rep. Tony Cornish (R-Vernon Center) denies allegations of sexual harassment. |  Photo: Minnesota Legislature

November 12, 2017 08:35 AM

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - Minnesota's House speaker says an outside firm will be hired to conduct an independent investigation into allegations of sexual harassment.

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Two women came forward this week and said Republican Rep. Tony Cornish, of Vernon Center, sexually harassed them. Cornish has admitted texting one of the women, a fellow lawmaker, but said it was congenial. He denied other allegations that he propositioned a lobbyist.

On Saturday, House Speaker Kurt Daudt sent a letter to Minority Leader Melissa Hortman in which he says that the two agreed to hire an outside firm to investigate the allegations against Cornish.

Daudt had already suspended Cornish's chairmanship of the House Public Safety Committee.

The letter says the investigation was recommended by the non-partisan human resources department.

Cornish denies wrongdoing and says he intends to fight the accusations.

The allegations against Cornish come as several of Minnesota's top Democrats are calling on state Sen. Dan Schoen to resign after accusations that he sexually harassed women. The Democrat from St. Paul Park says the allegations are false.


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Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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