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Mass. Lawmakers Launch Review After State House Harassment Allegations

BOSTON (CBS) – Massachusetts House Speaker Bob DeLeo has ordered a review of policies after a dozen women said in a Boston Globe column they were sexually harassed at the State House over the last two decades.

The allegations, from women who were not identified, came in a Globe column that describes the sexual harassment on Beacon Hill as "overwhelming."

"I am infuriated and deeply disturbed to hear that a dozen women who are professionally associated with the State House have described being sexually harassed while here," DeLeo said in a statement. "While I understand and support their desire to remain anonymous, the fact that victims fear the consequences to their careers of reporting the harassment is as upsetting as the harassment itself."

Governor Charlie Baker says there is a zero tolerance policy for sexual harassment and expects everyone to be treated with dignity and respect. "I am appalled and saddened to learn of recent reports on Beacon Hill and support the House's decision to review polices to create a safer environment and encourage reporting of any misconduct," Gov. Baker said.

DeLeo said any reported incident of harassment will be investigated.

"Since I have been Speaker of the House, this institution has endeavored to create a positive work environment for all of our members, employees and visitors. To hear that we may have failed is deeply troubling to me," DeLeo said.

"To know that, as recent headlines suggest, we are not alone provides no comfort. The national focus on this issue is well deserved and should serve to remind us all of the prevalence of harassment, and the need for constant vigilance to ensure that every person is safe and comfortable while at work."

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