Democratic State Lawmaker Accused Of Verbally Sexually Harassing Aide

Leaders Call On Rep. Staush Gruszynski To Resign

Wisconsin State Capitol
Laura Pavin/WPR

Assembly Democratic leaders on Thursday called on a freshman Democratic lawmaker to resign in the wake of a substantiated sexual harassment complaint.

According to leaders, state Rep. Staush Gruszynski, D-Green Bay, was accused of verbally sexually harassing a legislative employee while in an offsite location after work hours. An investigation by the Legislative Human Resources Office found the complaint to be substantiated.

“It’s our job to create a culture of accountability and to ensure members and legislative employees are held to a high standard of conduct,” the leaders said in a prepared statement. “Rep. Gruszynski failed to meet these standards with his actions.”

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The leaders have stripped Gruszynski of his committee assignments and barred him from caucusing with Democrats, in addition to calling on him to resign.

Gruszynski, 34, responded to the call on Thursday by saying he “made a terrible mistake after drinking too much in a Madison bar.” He said his “conduct was unprofessional and completely unacceptable” and noted he complied with investigators throughout the official inquiry.

“I want to apologize directly to that staffer and everyone that was involved that evening,” Gruszynski said in a prepared statement. My concern and focus at this time is my family, and how in the New Year I continue to move forward serving the constituents of the 90th district.”

Gruszynski was elected to the Assembly in 2018. He also serves on the Brown County Board of Supervisors.

Editor’s note: This story was updated with comments from Rep. Staush Gruszynski.