– Days After House Members Attend Sexual Harassment Training, Seitz Insults Women at Colleague’s Farewell Roast, Then Breaks His Ankle in a Fall
– Rep. Candice Keller Expresses Anger on Facebook, Confers with Speaker and Legal Counsel, Resulting in Seitz’s Apology
The Ohio Legislature’s Code of Ethics states that all members “shall conduct themselves at all times so as to reflect credit upon the member’s respective chamber of the General Assembly.” But according to news accounts, that’s not what happened at a recent event in Columbus.
With an open bar at the Athletic Club of Columbus, near the State Capitol, Seitz took part in a “roast” of Ohio House Speaker Cliff Rosenberger’s departing chief of staff.
There, Ohio House Majority Leader Bill Seitz took to the podium. In a story first reported by 3rd Rail Politics, the “theme of the jokes was… what else? Legislator sexual harassment and disrespect of women!”
“A Vastly Disappointing Day”
Seitz is reported to have made disparaging remarks about Rep. Candice Keller, who was not at the event. But when the remarks were relayed to her, Keller was furious. In comments on Facebook, she called it “A vastly disappointing day.” Her husband and campaign manager, Kent Keller Sr., said he was “disappointed in these men that are drunken bullies.”
Rep. Keller angrily reported her concerns to Ohio Speaker Cliff Rosenberger and the chamber’s legal counsel. Speaker Rosenberger directed Mr. Seitz to apologize.
Seitz, was hospitalized after breaking his ankle leaving the event, sent a letter expressing “deep regret and remorse” for his comments to House Speaker Cliff Rosenberger and Ohio House members. He promised to apologize in person to Rep. Keller and Diana Fessler, a former state representative that he had also offended.
What happened to Seitz?
This incident is just the latest in a series of strange events. First, he abandons his long-espoused “free market principles” to pick energy winners and losers. Now this.
Whether it is unaccountably defending a corporate bailout scheme for coal that President Trump’s regulators rejected, fighting against clean energy when three-quarters of conservative Republicans support it or now insulting women like it’s the 1950s, Bill Seitz appears to be out of control.
Scott Peterson is executive director of Checks and Balances Project, an investigative blog that seeks to hold government officials, lobbyists and corporate management accountable to the public. Funding for C&BP comes from sustainable economy philanthropies and donors.
You Might Want to Read: