AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Texas Gov. Greg Abbott wants the state’s top criminal investigators to begin handling sexual misconduct complaints against lawmakers, judges and other elected officials.
Abbott on Tuesday called for changing how sexual harassment allegations in the state Capitol are investigated during a campaign stop in Houston. He said letting the Texas Rangers handle complaints would ensure that public officials take allegations against them seriously.
The Texas Legislature would have to approve the change in process next year.
Currently, sexual harassment allegations in the Legislature are reported to the state’s Senate and House leadership. That has drawn criticism since lawmakers may be wary of punishing their own colleagues.
Lawmakers in several state legislatures around the country have resigned amid harassment allegations. No such resignations have occurred in Texas.