Mesnard Protects Sex Scandal Players, Syms ACTS For Victims, Taxpayers

Rep. J.D. Mesnard

Taxpayers were outraged earlier this week, when Arizona State Speaker of the House JD Mesnard took action to protect lawmakers involved in the current sexual harassment scandal by declaring that taxpayers would foot the bill for their attorneys. Mesnard’s move was seen as an effort to provide cover to lawmakers guilty of either predatory behavior or political skulduggery.

At least one lawmaker, Rep. Maria Syms, is trying to bring some semblance of transparency to the House. On Thursday, Syms submitted legislation that would protect the public and victims by preventing the enforcement of non-disclosure agreements designed to silence victims of sexual assault and sexual harassment.

“Justice will no longer go to the highest bidder, and sexual predators will be held accountable,” said Representative Syms. “Sexual predators should not be allowed to buy their freedom or a victim’s silence. My legislation will close this ‘sexual predator loophole’ and ultimately will protect the public from these predators and prevent possible future crimes.”

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This legislation also adds language to hold elected officials to the same standards as the public.

“Elected officials should not be permitted to abuse the public trust by hiding wrongdoing through confidentiality agreements.”

Syms has previously passed victim’s rights legislation, having last session sponsored HB 2268, a bill signed into law by Governor Ducey that requires all rape kits are tested in a timely manner. Additionally, during her tenure at the Arizona Attorney General’s Office, Representative Syms was responsible for increasing accountability for elected officials.

2 Comments

  1. It would be nice if the writer had gotten a statement from Mesnard in defense of his action. Too often politicians tell us they are proposing legislation that turns out to be nothing more than political grandstanding but in this instance there is not enough information for us to assess that possibility. I am not nitpicking. Now is the time for us all, the voters, the media and the politicians to get it right and end the kind of sexual abuse we have been exposed to in the last few months. We all have mothers and most of us have other female relatives and wives and daughters, so surely this issue can and must be dealt with on a non-partisan basis and that will only happen if we start with an open and full discussion by us all. If we let this opportunity slip away due to neglect or sacrifice it to partisan political bickering, then shame on all those who do so and they should never be forgiven.

  2. Sadly when it comes to the Arizona legislature one must always ask,
    “where’s the adult supervision”?

    The Oracle

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