Parish quizzed on decision to not seek reelection and sexual harassment complaint on Action Line

    Juneau, Alaska (KINY) - Juneau Representative Justin Parish talked about his decision not to seek re-election and the sexual harassment complaint lodged against him while a guest on the Action Line program that aired Monday.

    Parish claimed it wasn't actually sexual harassment since it wasn't someone in the work place and not someone he had any authority over. "I was told in February that I made an unnamed employee of a local media outlet feel uncomfortable. I felt and I really feel terrible about that. I didn't know that that was going on. I don't know who it is, still, and though I've tried to rack my memory, I just can't be certain who the complainant is."

    Parish was asked to undergo additional training which he admitted, broadly speaking, was sexual harassment training. He said that he did that gladly. "It was to try to help me be more sensitive and it's given me abundant cause for introspection."

    Parish said  the case was closed without a finding of sexual harassment, although he offered an apology. "I feel really poorly about the way that this must be unfolding in the life of my accuser. I'm sincerely sorry both to her and to my family, my significant other, my community, but it was investigated without a finding of wrong doing."

    Parish intends to serve out his term. When asked if he considered resigning Parish said, "I think if a lawmaker is accused of some misconduct, that misconduct is investigated, and the investigation comes back without a finding of misconduct, it's difficult to look at that as being a cause for resignation." He added, "If I were to resign tomorrow, it would be harmful to the state and to Juneau."

    Former Parish aide and Juneau Assembly member Rob Edwardson says it will seek the House District 34 seat. He will run as an independent in the Democratic Primary.

    Juneau Deputy Mayor Jerry Nankervis is seeking the Republican nomination for the seat.

     

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