Senator LeVota resigns amid sexual harassment charges

Paul LeVota | Courtesy of the Missouri Senate
Paul LeVota | Courtesy of the Missouri Senate

State Sen. Paul LeVota, D-Independence, announced his resignation from the Missouri Legislature amid accusations of sexual misconduct by female interns. LeVota continued to deny the allegations, saying he was stepping down because he doesn’t want to put his family, himself or the Senate “through the process of dealing with the veracity of false allegations and character assassination against me.”

A Senate report released to the press last week detailed allegations of sexual harassment by LeVota. A female intern said she had been subject to a pattern of sexual harassment by LeVota, including unwelcome text messages and explicit requests for sexual activity. When she complained to a member of LeVota’s staff, the intern said, she was “subject to retaliation.”

A second report surfaced later in the week from an intern who worked for LeVota in 2010 and claims he also propositioned her.

Gov. Jay Nixon called the senator’s resignation “a necessary step.” Nixon can hold a special election to fill the seat vacated by LeVota, who is married and has two daughters.

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