Former Wisconsin Senate Secretary Resigns After Sexual Misconduct Investigation
The former chief clerk of the Wisconsin Senate resigned amid a sexual misconduct investigation, according to an investigator's report released Tuesday.
Michael Queensland quietly resigned from his Senate position in September. Senate Majority Leader Devin LeMahieu said in a two-sentence statement at the time that Queensland resigned following a “credible allegation.” He added that Queensland had denied all the allegations, but did not reveal what they were.
The Legislature's human resources office on Tuesday released a report by investigator Susan Lessack, an employment lawyer, who wrote that someone alerted the state Senate in late August to allegations of sexual misconduct and harassment against Queensland. The Legislature's human resources office ordered Lessack to investigate.
He interviewed a woman identified as Jane Doe employed in a legislative secretary's office in another state. The report says the woman told Lessack she met Queensland during a legislative conference in Palm Springs, California.
According to the report, the woman said she and Queensland spent the night of May 6 drinking and that she passed out when she returned to her hotel. The woman said she regained consciousness and found Queensland on top of her trying to remove her pants and underwear. She reported that he told her to stop four or five times, reminded her that he was married, and then pushed him away from her. The woman said she then left.
Queensland told Lessack that the woman invited him back to her room and that the encounter was consensual, the report said.
Lessack concluded there was enough evidence to support the woman's allegations. She said she believed Queensland rehearsed her statements. She added that the woman told Queensland an hour before the encounter that she would never be interested in a married man because she considered infidelity offensive, which should have warned Queensland that she would not accept any sexual advances from her.
The report says Queensland resigned after Lessack interviewed him but before the investigation was completed. The report is dated Monday.
Queensland did not immediately respond to an email sent Tuesday by The Associated Press seeking comment, and attempts to reach him by phone were unsuccessful.
The report notes that a lawyer represented Queensland during the interview, but does not name him. It is unclear if he currently has an attorney. Online court records show he has not been charged with any crimes in Wisconsin.
The chief secretary of the Senate, a nonpartisan position, acts as administrator of the chamber and is responsible for a variety of tasks ranging from announcing bills on floor session days to keeping track of the body's finances and records. . Queensland had served as chief secretary of the Senate since January 2021. Before becoming secretary, he worked as a lawyer at the Legislative Council, which advises lawmakers on legal interpretations and how to draft bills.
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