House Majority calls on Dean Westlake to resign amid sexual harassment allegations

Rep. Dean Westlake, D-Kotzebue, speaks during a House Floor Session on Feb 3, 2017. (Photo by Skip Gray/360 North)

The Alaska House Majority Coalition is calling for Democratic representative Dean Westlake of Kiana to resign amid sexual harassment allegations.

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The allegations surfaced after a Wednesday report showed a former Legislative staffer claimed Westlake had harassed her on two different occasions.

Since then, according to the Anchorage Daily News, a total of seven women have come forward with sexual harassment allegations against Westlake. In a release from the House Majority, House Speaker Bryce Edgmon said in part, “it is difficult for victims to speak out, especially against elected officials in a position of power and [the House leaders] commend anyone who has been mistreated for coming forward; they are owed justice and respect.”

The Alaska Democratic Party echoed similar sentiments about Westlake, stating that the alleged behavior “cannot be tolerated” and that he should resign immediately.

The allegations coincide with the Legislature’s plans to revise their existing sexual harassment policies.