SANTA FE, N.M. (KRQE) – There are questions about the anti-harassment policy for state elected officials in the legislature. This after a sexual harassment investigation into Senator Daniel Ivey-Soto came to a halt.
Democratic Representative Daymon Ely says he’s had concerns about it for a while now so he’s drafting a proposal that would change how a legislative panel handles an investigation.
Representative Ely explains, “If the committee’s reach a tie, and they can’t break it, then they should hire an outside lawyer, retired judge or justice, but only if they need to tie and that’s the idea is to encourage the legislature to get to it to do the right thing.”
Lobbyist Marianna Anaya accused Democratic Senator Daniel Ivey-Soto this year of sexually harassing her. The formal complaint led to an investigation by a private attorney. But last week, Ivey-Soto told KRQE the investigation is over after a panel of lawmakers decided not to move forward with the case. The results of the investigation have not been made public by the legislature.
Senator Ivey-Soto’s accuser filed a lawsuit last week — saying the confidentiality laws in this case restricted her right to free speech. “The confidentiality statute is ridiculous. I think personally, I’m a lawyer, unconstitutional, because what it does is, it says the elected official has the ability to waive confidentiality, and no one else, and you’re putting a gag rule on the complainant,” said Ely.
But that confidentiality statue won’t change unless they change the law. Ely, who serves as the co-chair of the Interim Ethics Committee, says he’s encouraging his colleagues to work on that in the next legislative session.
Representative Ely is presenting his idea to the Legislative Council Committee on Monday, September 26. The meeting is open to the public and will be held at 1:30 p.m. at the Roundhouse, room 307.