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Phoenix City Council moves to create sexual harassment policy

(City of Phoenix Photo)

PHOENIX — The City of Phoenix, sparked by recent misconduct allegations in the Arizona Legislature, has begun setting up a clear sexual harassment policy for elected officials.

The city council voted Wednesday to “take the first steps” toward creating a policy approved that dealt with sexual harassment.

Mayor Greg Stanton tweeted the forthcoming policy was long overdue.

“It’s a clear message that no one should be above the law,” Stanton said in a press release.

Over the past two months, multiple women have accused state Rep. Don Shooter (R-Yuma) of sexual harassment. The first to go public was Rep. Michelle Ugenti-Rita (R-Scottsdale) in November.

On a federal level, Arizona Republican Trent Franks resigned from his House of Representatives seat after an ethics committee said it was investigating claims that he had sexually harassed women in his office.

Councilwoman Kate Gallego has led the push for the Phoenix directive.

“Harassment happens at all levels of government,” Gallego said in a statement.

“The city of Phoenix needs a way to handle harassment complaints when the accused is an elected official. Victims need to know that they will be heard.”

Gallego hoped to have a complete policy ready for the council’s approval soon. New Councilmember Jim Waring was also going to work on the policy.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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