A Michigan Democrat filed a sexual harassment complaint Tuesday against State Sen. Peter Lucido (R-Shelby Township) just a week after he was accused of making “sexist” and “belittling” comments towards a female reporter.
State Sen. Mallory McMorrow (D-Royal Oak) went public with her allegation Tuesday morning in an exclusive interview with Crain’s Detroit Business.
“In that moment, I was exhausted from running a campaign for a year and a half, but I remember thinking, it doesn’t matter to this person that I ran a campaign for a year and a half, that I quit my job to do that,” McMorrow told the publication. “It doesn’t matter what my background is or if I’m suited to do this job. It was: You’re a piece of meat and of course you won this election.”
A copy of her complaint was released Tuesday evening and describes her encounter with Lucido as follows:
On November 8, 2018, I attended New Senator Orientation in Lansing. During a break after sexual harassment training, I walked over and introduced myself to then-Senator-elect Pete Lucido. He reached out to shake my hand, and with the other hand, held very low on my back, with fingers grazing my hip and upper rear. He asked what my name was and where I was from. After a bit of back and forth, he asked, “Who’d you run against?” I responded, “I beat Marty Knollenberg.” At that moment, still holding his hand on my low back, he looked me up and down, raised his eyebrows, and said, “I can see why.”
In that moment, my heart sank. I felt clenched and small. In that moment, this man looked at me with little interest to my background or experience, and I felt like nothing more than an object. The implication, clearly, was “You won because of what you look like.”
Prior to being elected to the Michigan Senate in 2018, Lucido served two terms in the Michigan House from 2015 to 2018. He denied the allegation when speaking with the media Tuesday.
“I categorically deny this allegation, which I believe is completely untrue and politically motivated,” he said.
State Sen. Rosemary Bayer (D-Beverly Hills) corroborated McMorrow’s allegation and accused Lucido of making inappropriate comments during a sexual harassment training.
“He was so awful in the class that I was actually texting people about this pig of a senator,” she said. “He was so bad, the comments he was making. It was just creepy-crawling kind of stuff.”
McMorrow’s complaint comes a week after Michigan Advance reporter Allison Donahue accused Lucido of making “sexist” comments towards her. According to Donahue’s account, she was waiting to ask the senator for comment while he visited with a group of students from his alma mater, De La Salle Collegiate.
“It’s an all boys school,” Lucido apparently said to Donahue. “You should hang around. You could have a lot of fun with these boys, or they could have a lot of fun with you.”
“I’m 22 years old and one of the youngest current Capitol reporters. The senator’s insinuating comments about the ‘fun’ I might have with a group of teenage boys was belittling and it came from a place of power,” Donahue said in her article.
A spokesperson for Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey (R-Clarklake) said the Senate Business Office is concurrently investigating both complaints.
The allegations against Lucido follow a January 3 interview in which he hinted at the idea of running for governor in 2022.
McMorrow’s complaint can be viewed below:
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