Amid Harassment Claims, Schedler Re-Emerges At Capitol
BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Louisiana Secretary of State Tom Schedler returned to the state Capitol on Tuesday for the first time since a lawsuit alleged he sexually harassed one of his employees for a decade.
Schedler, the state's top elections official, appeared before the House Appropriations Committee for a budget hearing, less than a week after he publicly rejected calls to resign but announced he won't run for re-election next year.
Schedler's budget hearing was brief. None of the lawmakers on the committee asked questions about the sexual harassment allegations or the pending lawsuit.
The lawsuit filed in February claims Schedler harassed a woman who worked in his office for years and punished her when she rebuffed repeated advances.
The woman claims Schedler frequently sent her love letters, sexually propositioned her and showed up at her doorstep with unwanted gifts, including sex tapes. She claims Schedler enlisted help from state security personnel to report on her whereabouts. The lawsuit says the harassment began about a decade ago and escalated over the years.
At a news conference last week, the Republican statewide elected official didn't respond directly to the allegations but called the lawsuit "unfair." His spokeswoman previously said Schedler had a consensual sexual relationship with the woman, a claim the woman's lawyer denied.
Gov. John Bel Edwards and some state lawmakers have called on Schedler to resign, a suggestion he rebuffed last week. Schedler's term in office ends in January 2020.