Utah Senate investigating sexual harassments allegations against Sen. Gene Davis

Members of both parties expressed support Friday for the investigation.

Updated: August 5, 2022 - 10:10pm

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Utah Senate President Stuart Adams said Friday an independent investigation will be launched into sexual harassment allegations against Sen. Gene Davis, D-South Lake.

“Wednesday evening, I learned about the allegations concerning Sen. Davis from an online post made by a former intern," Adams said in a news release. "The entire Senate and I take these comments seriously. After reviewing recommendations from the legislative general counsel and human resource administrator, I have directed an independent investigation be initiated to evaluate these allegations."

Senate Democrats Karen Mayne, Luz Escamilla and Jani Iwamoto said in a joint statement they support the investigation.

“We take the recent allegations against Sen. Davis very seriously and do not tolerate sexual harassment or any form of inappropriate conduct in the workplace," the senators said. "Sexual harassment is wholly unacceptable, and while no complaint has been filed, we have confidence in the Legislature’s workplace discrimination and harassment policies and process to support employees and interns.”

Davis has also lost the backing of his local party.

"We stand firmly with victims and temporarily suspend Senator Gene Davis from participating in Salt Lake County Democratic Party events, committees, and any party-related activity," the Salt Lake County Democratic Party said in a statement posted on Twitter.

Davis was first elected to the Senate in 1999. Before that he served in the House of Representatives from 1987 to 1998. He did not immediately return an email seeking comment on the allegations.