A Democratic state lawmaker accused of sexual misconduct has been removed from his assigned legislative committees.
State Representative Josh Zepnick (D-Milwaukee) has been facing calls to resign from his seat, after The Capital Times reported on Friday that two women claimed he tried to kiss them during political events in 2011 and 2015. One of the women was a staff members with the Democratic Party of Wisconsin at the time, while the other was a legislative employee.
Zepnick has apologized, but has so far said he will not resign from his seat.
A spokeswoman for Assembly Speaker Robin Vos confirmed Tuesday morning that Minority Leader Gordon Hintz had requested that Zepnick be removed from all of his current committee assignments – a request the speaker granted.
Zepnick has been scheduled to appear at a meeting of the Assembly Committee of Federalism and Interstate Relations, but was replaced at the last minute by Rep. Gary Hebl (D-Sun Prairie). Hebl has been named as a permanent replacement. It’s not yet known who will replace Zepnick on other committees he was assigned to.
In a statement, Hintz said Democratic leaders continue to take the allegations against Zepnick seriously. “Yesterday I took one of the few disciplinary actions available to me as Minority Leader and removed Representative Zepnick from his assigned committees,” he said “Moving forward, I will consult with members of the Assembly Democratic Caucus, as well as the majority party, to ensure this issue is addressed in an appropriate manner.”
Zepnick did not immediately respond to a request for comment.