Ohio Republican leader who made fun of sexual harassment claims asked to resign


Four women of the Democratic party are circulating a letter demanding the resignation of Cincinnati Republican Bill Seitz.

"I urge immediately for representative Bill Seitz to step down from his leadership position and resign, said State Representative Michele Lepore-Hagan (D) 58th House District.

Last week, inside the Athletic Club of Columbus, Seitz was roasting a former colleague.

Those in attendance say he made fun of sexual harassment claims against former Senator Cliff Heinz who resigned over the scandal. Seitz has since apologized.

"When an elected official at one of the highest positions in the statehouse and mocks sexual harassment Ohioans deserve a strong response that sends a strong message that sexual assault will not be tolerated ever," said State Representative Teresa Fedor (D) 45th House District.

Republican lawmaker Theresa Gavrone attended the event, and tells 10TV, "Representative Seitz apologized for his remarks and to the women he named and none of those women asked for him to resign. Some of his remarks were off color, but he assured me that he will promote to work a positive work environment."

The Head of the Ohio Republican Party, Jane Timkin said in a statement, "It's difficult to comment without knowing what was or was not said, but some things just aren't joking matters. Sexual harassment is one of them."

The timing of Seitz comments was not lost on those calling for his resignation. It happened the same week lawmakers underwent sexual harassment training.

House Speaker Cliff Rosenberger tells 10TV, "Rep. Seitz has apologized directly to the people who found some of his remarks offensive, none of whom have called for his resignation. have clearly expressed my disappointment in those remarks, I have personally apologized to each female member of the General Assembly, and even during House session yesterday, Rep. Sarah LaTourette, in an unprecedented fashion, acknowledged a member to address the situation. Over the past couple days, I have spoken with female members from both parties, including Reps. Antonio, Galonski and Fedor, about forming an internal working group to have a meaningful, bipartisan conversation looking at all forms of harassment and discrimination in the workplace so that we can move forward in a constructive way."

Rep. Seitz sent 10TV the following statement:

"I have no intention of resigning. The Speaker has not asked me to do so. I categorically deny the allegations in their letter, and none of them attended the roast, nor had the decency to express their concerns about false reports to me. I said absolutely nothing derogatory about any current House member, and as the enclosed letter shows, the former member wrote me in response to my letter of apology that no apology was needed. This should be dismissed for the partisan political stunt that it is."