Legislature(2017 - 2018)FAHRENKAMP 203

01/31/2018 11:30 AM RULES

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Audio Topic
11:40:52 AM Start
11:41:49 AM Consideration of Human Resources Memorandum
11:51:14 AM Adjourn
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
-- Delayed to Immediately Following Session --
-- Uniform Rule 23 Waived --
-Scheduled Immediately Following Floor Session-
+ Consideration of Report TELECONFERENCED
                    ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE                                                                                  
                SENATE RULES STANDING COMMITTEE                                                                               
                        January 31, 2018                                                                                        
                           11:40 a.m.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Senator Kevin Meyer, Chair                                                                                                      
Senator Pete Kelly                                                                                                              
Senator Peter Micciche                                                                                                          
Senator Anna MacKinnon                                                                                                          
Senator Berta Gardner                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
All members present                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
OTHER LEGISLATORS PRESENT                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Senator David Wilson                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
HUMAN RESOURCES MEMORANDUM                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
     - VOTED TO RELEASE THE MEMORANDUM                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
PREVIOUS COMMITTEE ACTION                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
No previous action to record                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
WITNESS REGISTER                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
No witnesses                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
11:40:52 AM                                                                                                                   
CHAIR KEVIN MEYER called the Senate Rules Standing Committee                                                                  
meeting to order at 11:40 a.m. Present at the call to order were                                                                
Senators Gardner, Micciche, Kelly, MacKinnon, and Chair Meyer.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
^Consideration of Human Resources Memorandum                                                                                    
          CONSIDERATION OF HUMAN RESOURCES MEMORANDUM                                                                       
                                                                                                                              
CHAIR MEYER  said there  was one  item on  the agenda  today, the                                                               
report  developed  at  the  request   of  Senator  Kelly  by  the                                                               
Legislative Human Resources Manager, Skiff Lobaugh.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
11:41:49 AM                                                                                                                   
He announced an at ease, so that members could read the report.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
11:46:21 AM                                                                                                                   
CHAIR MEYER  called the meeting back  to order at 11:46  a.m. and                                                               
invited Senator Kelly to comment.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  KELLY said  he  asked the  Rules  Committee to  consider                                                               
releasing the  report regarding Senator  Wilson's statement  at a                                                               
press  conference he  held on  December 7,  2017. The  report the                                                               
Rules  Committee released  on December  12,  2017 concluded  that                                                               
Senator Wilson's  conduct in June  did not fit the  definition of                                                               
hostile work  environment sexual harassment. In  fact, the report                                                               
concluded  the  facts  did  not substantiate  a  case  of  sexual                                                               
harassment.  However,   Senator  Wilson's  press   conference  on                                                               
December  7,   2017,  triggered   a  second   investigation  that                                                               
concluded  there   was  retaliation   under  state   and  federal                                                               
guidelines.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR KELLY said the non-partisan  Human Resources (HR) manager                                                               
investigated the matter and prepared  the report the committee is                                                               
releasing  today. The  release of  this report  shows the  Senate                                                               
does  not   condone  retaliation  and  expects   all  legislative                                                               
employees  to be  treated with  respect. In  deciding to  release                                                               
this report,  they had to  weigh the privacy  interest guaranteed                                                               
in the  Alaska Constitution  versus the  public's right  to know.                                                               
Looking  at  the facts  of  the  situation and  considering  that                                                               
Senator Wilson held a public  press conference that was broadcast                                                               
across the state, they decided to  resolve this issue in favor of                                                               
the public's right to know.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
11:48:15 AM                                                                                                                   
SENATOR  KELLY  said  upon receipt  of  the  retaliation  report,                                                               
Senate leadership  reviewed the findings with  Senator Wilson and                                                               
took the following disciplinary actions:                                                                                        
-Required a letter of responsibility  to the House staff employee                                                               
(HSE) involved                                                                                                                  
-Set a  three-month probation as  a period for Senator  Wilson to                                                               
demonstrate that he understands  the human resources policies and                                                               
decorum  expectations  of  the   Alaska  Senate  and  the  entire                                                               
legislature                                                                                                                     
-Required an individual training course on retaliation                                                                          
-Placed Senator Wilson on travel restrictions                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR KELLY stated that Senator  Wilson had complied with these                                                               
actions to  date. The sum-total  of this case  is to be  found in                                                               
Senator Wilson's very  public press conference and  the HR Report                                                               
from the Legislative Affairs Agency.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
On  advice  of legal  counsel,  Senator  Kelly said,  no  further                                                               
comment will  be made regarding  this report or situation  due to                                                               
the complexity of navigating state  law along with the U.S. Equal                                                               
Employment  Opportunity  Commission (EEOC)  guidelines  regarding                                                               
retaliation  when  public comments  are  made  in any  regard  to                                                               
individuals who participated in a legally protected activity.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
11:49:19 AM                                                                                                                   
SENATOR KELLY  moved to release the  Human Resources confidential                                                               
memo from the Legislative Affairs  Agency dated December 8, 2017,                                                               
from committee. There were no objections and it was so ordered.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR GARDNER said she wanted to  put a question on the record:                                                               
The conclusion on  the second page of the  report says, "multiple                                                               
times   in  the   press  conference   he  revealed   confidential                                                               
information and  disclosed questions  that were asked  during the                                                               
investigation." Her  question was: did  he know those were  to be                                                               
confidential?                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR MEYER  responded that issue  couldn't be addressed  in this                                                               
committee.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
11:51:14 AM                                                                                                                   
CHAIR MEYER,  finding no further  business, adjourned  the Senate                                                               
Rules Committee meeting at 11:51 a.m.                                                                                           

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