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Secretary of State accused of sexual harassment, Democratic party calls for resignation

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Secretary of State Tom Schedler Secretary of State Tom Schedler

Louisiana Secretary of State Tom Schedler is accused of sexual harassment in a lawsuit filed Thursday that claims he repeatedly propositioned an employee over a decade, our media partners at The Advocate report. 

Thursday afternoon, the Louisiana Democratic Party Executive Director Stephen Handwerk released the following statement in response to the sexual harassment allegations.

Secretary of State Schedler either needs to clear his name or step down. It’s deeply troubling that he isn’t denying the allegations and is still holding his position. This is beyond party politics.  We hope that by morning the republican leaders of our state have strongly condemned these despicable actions and that the only reason they haven't already is because they have their heads down working on budget compromises.

The suit, filed in the 19th Judicial District Courthouse by the woman's attorney, Jill Craft, alleges Schedler created a "sexually hostile and abusive working environment" for the woman. The suit says Schedler would send her Valentine's cards addressed to "My Dearest Sunshine," roses, bottles of wine, clothing and even sex tapes, despite her repeatedly telling him she was not interested in a sexual relationship, the Advocate reports. 

To read the Advocate's full story, click here

We reached out to Shedler's office today and he sent the following statement: 

“We take any allegation of sexual harassment very seriously here at the Secretary of State’s Office.  I have not seen the suit or the specific details but as the father of three grown daughters and three granddaughters I can assure the public that I believe in a safe workplace, free from harassment, and will continue my record of transparency with my constituents,” said Secretary of State Tom Schedler.

“My wife and I have been living apart for a long time and our friends and family have known of our personal status and have lovingly supported our decision.  We still very much respect one another and are fully committed to sharing in family events with our children and grandchildren as often as possible. While I understand that my service as a public official opens my private life to outside scrutiny, I’ve found support from others who have experienced similar marital issues in their personal life and can empathize,” said Schedler. 

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