Sproutnews ABC6 Providence, RI And New Bedford, MA News, Weather

By: News Staff

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PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WLNE) — A longtime State representative opened up about the advantages her bills would have if she was willing to fool around.

Representative Teresa Tanzi told ABC6 News that she felt it was imperative to add her voice to the women talking about their experiences.

In the wake of her claims, Speaker Nicholas Mattiello said sexual harassment in the workplace is unacceptable and will not be tolerated.

Explosive accusations came from State Representative Tanzi after she has been told sexual favors would allow her bills to go further at the state house.

Tanzi did not name the person who harassed her.

The comments came amid the national #metoo movement enabling women across the country to open up about sexual assault and harassment.

Tanzi told ABC6 that she was inspired by the tens of thousands of women speaking out.

In a statement, she wrote: “I felt compelled to speak out to try to make a difference. This is a watershed moment, and remaining silent would only preserve the status quo.”

Governor Gina Raimondo said this type of behavior would not be tolerated.

“To often sexual harassment or bullying is just shoved under the carpet,” said Governor Raimondo.

Republican State Representative Bobby Nardolillo praised Representative Tanzi’s courage writing in a statement: “Teresa was very brave to speak out, which is extremely difficult. Now we need to address these wrongdoings to prevent it from ever happening again.”

Nardolillo also opened up about his own sexual abuse as a child telling ABC6: “Over 25 years has passed.  Still everyday I wake up and wish it never happened. My innocence as a child was robbed from me, but everyday I find it in my heart to be strong. No one should ever have to go through such an awful experience.”

GOP Chair Brandon Bell called the allegations despicable and added that he thinks Representative Tanzi should name her accuser so they can face punishment.

“If a grain of this is true, they should be removed from the State House immediately.

Speaker Mattiello said he supports legislation Representative Tanzi wants to introduce to create a commission to review sexual harassment policies.

He also added that an HR professional will be brought in to provide training at the start of the session.

©WLNE-TV / ABC6 2017

Source : http://abc6.com/story/36623191/state-house-sexual-harassment-allegations

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