New allegations against Rep Tony Cornish

posted by Justice & Drew -

Coming up on Mondays Justice and Drew, continued discussion surrounding the sexual harassment allegations at MN Capitol and nationwide. MPR conducted a series of interviews with individuals claiming to have first hand knowledge, below is some of what they discovered. 

Among the new revelations:

• Cornish sent messages to women about his sexual attraction to them, and he gossiped with others about conquests he hoped to make.

• A former House staff member brought concerns to a supervisor about Cornish and his behavior toward a female colleague. It's unclear how the complaint was resolved. Asked about the existence of complaints, either received, resolved or pending, House Human Resources Director Kelly Knight said personnel matters are confidential.

• Cornish sent messages to a female staffer asking whether the woman was single or was waiting for him, according to the woman who received the messages. The woman, who no longer works for the House but received messages from the lawmaker after she left, asked not to be named because it could affect her future employment status.

• A firm reassigned a lobbyist after Cornish made unwelcome advances toward her. The firm also decided to no longer allow the lobbyist to attend meetings with Cornish by herself, based on an interview with the person who made the decision. The firm isn't naming itself for fear of reprisal.

• Cornish had a reputation among women at the Capitol that he should be avoided because he would behave inappropriately toward them. Former Rep. Carly Melin said she was warned to avoid Cornish when she was first elected in 2011.

'I tried to drag u'

In one string of text messages to a female lobbyist, Cornish shifted from discussing pending legislation before his committee to making comments that he'd like to have a one-night stand with another female lobbyist.

That lobbyist "has always turned my crank," Cornish wrote in one message. In another, he wrote he wanted to "drag her off one night" and said she "smelled good."


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