Michigan senator faces sexual harassment probe over comments to reporter

State Sen. Peter Lucido, a Republican from Shelby Township, holds powerful committee positions and has publicly expressed an interest in running for governor in 2022. He's facing an internal sexual harassment investigation.(Bridge photo by Riley Beggin)

LANSING — State Sen. Peter Lucido is facing bipartisan criticism and an internal sexual harassment investigation after telling a 22-year-old female reporter she could have “a lot of fun” with a group of schoolboys visiting the Michigan Capitol. 

“Or they could have a lot of fun with you,” Lucido, a 59-year-old Shelby Township Republican, told Allison Donahue of the Michigan Advance on Tuesday, according to an account she published Wednesday morning on the progressive political news site. 

The story sent shockwaves through the Michigan Capitol, where Lucido holds powerful committee positions and has publicly expressed an interest in running for governor in 2022. 

On Wednesday afternoon, Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey, R-Clarklake, and Senate Minority Leader Jim Ananich, D-Flint, asked the Senate Business Office to launch a formal investigation into whether Lucido violated official sexual harassment policy. 

“Sexual harassment has no place in the Michigan Senate,” they wrote in a joint request letter to Senate Business Office Director Jordan Hankwitz. “We take these allegations very seriously and trust that you will take appropriate action to resolve this matter.”

The scope and scale of the investigation — along with possible ramifications for Lucido — are not clear. Hankwitz confirmed receipt of the request but declined to discuss additional details, saying his office is "unable to comment about an active investigation of any member or employee of the Senate."

The Detroit Free Press on Wednesday morning quoted Lucido as saying he felt his comments were taken out of context and did not warrant an apology. 

But Lucido issued a short statement later in the day: “I apologize for the misunderstanding yesterday and for offending Allison Donahue,” Lucido said.

Donahue sought to question Lucido about a since-deleted Facebook group where he reportedly made negative posts about Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. 

He brought up “fun” while asking the reporter to wait as he met with a group of students from his alma mater, De La Salle Collegiate, an all boys’ Catholic high school in Warren. 

“The teenagers burst into an Old Boys’ Network-type of laughter, and I walked away knowing that I had been the punchline of their ‘locker room’ talk,” Donahue recounted. “Except it wasn’t the locker room; it was the Senate chamber. And this isn’t high school. It’s my career.”

Lucido faced swift condemnation of Lucido from observers at the state Capitol and beyond. National outlets like the New York Post and Newsweek picked up the story. 

“Sen. Lucido purposefully generates this kind of controversy because it makes him feel important, and helps stave off his waning relevancy in a society where women and people of color are breaking down barriers and claiming their rightful seat at the table,” House Minority Leader Christine Greig, D-Farmington Hills, said in a statement.

Talking to reporters earlier Wednesday, Shirkey called Lucido’s reported comments “unacceptable” but declined to say whether he would remove the lawmaker from committees or take other punitive actions.

“I take this very seriously and I intend to have a very and lengthy private conversation with the senator,” Shirkey said.

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Comments

abe bubush
Wed, 01/15/2020 - 6:22pm

The hair oil says it all.

Sickened
Thu, 01/16/2020 - 9:20am

Lucido is NASTY and needs to go work for the White House, don't let the door in Michigan hit you on the way out! We don't want our daughters dealing with creeps like Lucido who is tone deaf. Didn't you notice the Me Too movement??????

LLA
Thu, 01/16/2020 - 10:49am

Very, very on-brand behavior for De La Salle students and alumni.

Harold
Thu, 01/16/2020 - 5:28pm

Pardon the vulgarity, but clearly, Lucido suggested the reporter would enjoy being the guest of honor in a gang bang. No other interpretation is plausible way.

Question: will Tim Skubick question Lucido about this is the next time he's on WKAR's Off The Record? Skubick is very cozy with Lucido: he normally tosses Lucido softball questions, then lets him spout off at length without challenging anything he says.

John Q. Public
Thu, 01/16/2020 - 9:10pm

That's pretty much Skubick's modus operandi with everyone he interviews. It's hilarious to watch because both he and the politicians play along as if he's some tough inquisitor when really he's more like the town gossip.

Spot on
Fri, 01/17/2020 - 8:51am

Yes, exactly! He also said, as an alumnus of the infamous all-boys school De La Salle, that he didn't know how to talk with females until he got to college. Well, I'd beg to differ. He STILL does not know how to talk with females! Note that the boys at De La Salle don't know how to treat human beings in general. They are mock sodomizing each other then adhering to a mafia like code of silence. Are these Catholic values? Seems to be the case, given all the other church scandals and coverups. Yet the GOP tells us we should give our tax dollars to fund these private schools. Aside from violating the establishment clause, wouldn't we be aiding and abetting felons? Lucido stinks to high heaven. It's so disappointing because I agree with parts of his road funding proposal. Unlike the Christian Republicans that support Trump, I cannot overlook Lucido's horrific behavior. It should be insulting to anyone who knows any females. Agree about Tim Skubick and others from Macomb who continue to support people like the Mayor of Warren, Fouts. They make me sick. Where is the outrage? Does greed trump true Christian principles? Lucido and Fouts have to go! Otherwise, do not call yourselves Christians!

John Q. Public
Thu, 01/16/2020 - 9:19pm

To me, far more elucidating about Lucido's perceived character than the comments he allegedly made was how quickly the line formed with other legislators and journalists to heap additional scorn upon him, and not just for this incident.

Zip it already
Sat, 01/18/2020 - 6:39am

This dude just can't stop digging his grave! His latest: I'm sorry if she was offended by what I said."
https://www.freep.com/story/news/local/michigan/macomb/2020/01/17/lucido...
It's in the video. So it's her fault for being offended by your outrageous comment?

Here's some good advice from Joy Behar to Joe Biden on how to apologize:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h6x1D_w9hV0
You, Pete, and perhaps the boys at De La Salle who are being raised the way you were raised could learn a lesson about how to treat others the way you would like to be treated, you know, like Christ taught us.

Anonymous
Sat, 01/18/2020 - 6:48am

Behar at 3:37 on the video. "I'm sorry for the way I treated her, not for the way she was treated."

Kathy Jefferies
Sat, 01/18/2020 - 11:09am

In the September 2007 edition of “Current Issues Analysis of the Home School Legal Defense Association” an article entitled “TheMyth of Teacher Qualifications” by Chris Klicka, Senior Counsel for Home School Legal Defense Association, it says: “ In a well known case before the Michigan Supreme Court concerning a Christian school’s challenge to the state’s teacher certification requirement , Dr. Ericksen testified as an expert witness on teacher certification. There he explained that extensive research has established that no significant correlation exists between certification ( or teacher qualifications) and student learning, and that student testing is a far superior method of determining teacher effectiveness. Dr. Lanier, an expert who testified on the side of the state in favor of teacher certification, admitted under oath that she was unaware of any verifiable evidence establishing any correlation between teacher certification requirements and student learning or teacher competence” This article cites many more research studies that have the same results. You can read the entire article at hslda.org .

Don
Sun, 01/19/2020 - 6:23am

It is nice to see that the people of Michigan are waking up to the low life called republicans!!!!

Real World Bob
Mon, 01/20/2020 - 9:56am

Toughen up buttercup. Snowflakes don't last long in the heat of real life. Grow up girl. If he's a low life, call him out on the spot. Embarrass him in front of the young men from his former school. It's much more effective unless you are one of the entitled, I'm owed everything because I am a 22 year old pampered socialist indoctrinated brat that thinks the government is her life? I don't know but she is probably still on her parents insurance? My advice? Get a real job and have a real life. Grow up!

Bones
Tue, 01/21/2020 - 8:24am

The world will be such a better place when your generation shuffles off. JFC, you people

LOL
Wed, 01/22/2020 - 9:42am

To: Real World Bob
"Toughen up buttercup. Snowflakes don't last long in the heat of real life. Grow up girl. If he's a low life, call him out on the spot. Embarrass him in front of the young men from his former school. It's much more effective unless you are one of the entitled, I'm owed everything because I am a 22 year old pampered socialist indoctrinated brat that thinks the government is her life? I don't know but she is probably still on her parents insurance? My advice? Get a real job and have a real life. Grow up!"
You think she should do that while YOU post a comment with an alias!!!! THAT is rich! Takes a lot of courage on your part, tough guy. NOT! Try practicing what you preach.

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