Rep. Justin Parish, D-Juneau (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)

Rep. Justin Parish, D-Juneau (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)

Rep. Parish faced sexual harassment complaint

Rep. Justin Parish, D-Juneau, was the subject of a sexual harassment complaint in February, the Juneau Empire confirmed Tuesday.

The document outlines a year and a half of unwanted public encounters that began before Parish’s election to the Legislature in November 2016. The encounters, documented in depth by the woman, included unwanted attention, flirting, phone calls and touching on the arms and torso. The woman repeatedly requested that he stop calling her and touching her.

Her complaint, according to records provided to the Empire, was delivered to the office of the Speaker of the House Bryce Edgmon, D-Dillingham.

Edgmon ordered Parish to undergo additional sexual harassment training as a result of the complaint, which he completed.

Parish, when interviewed by the Empire Tuesday, said Edgmon’s order did not factor into his choice to not seek re-election.

“I was leaning this way before that decision (by Edgmon),” Parish said.

He then paused and declined further comment about the complaint.

[Rep. Justin Parish drops out of election; Assemblyman Rob Edwardson will run instead]

The facts of the complaint and the additional training were verified by the woman and two other individuals familiar with the matter. The Empire agreed to grant anonymity to allow them to speak about the subject.

Complaints against lawmakers — and the results of investigations that stem from those complaints — are confidential documents.

The Empire has been aware since February of the existence of at least one complaint against Parish but has been unable to confirm it until this week. When Parish told the Empire on Tuesday he was not running for re-election, the Empire confronted him with the allegation and asked whether it was a factor in his choice not to run.

When the woman learned that Parish had talked about the existence of the complaint with the Empire on Tuesday, she provided a copy of it.

Edgmon’s office has previously declined to comment on the matter and did so again Tuesday.

Earlier this month, reporter Becky Bohrer of the Associated Press learned that three lawmakers since 2008 have been investigated for allegations of sexual harassment or misconduct.

Two of those investigations — against Sen. David Wilson, R-Wasilla, and former Rep. Dean Westlake, D-Kotzebue — have been made public through releases by the relevant lawmakers. It is not clear whether this was the third investigation.

While Parish has declined to run for re-election, he said Tuesday that he will remain in office until his successor is elected and sworn in.


• Contact reporter James Brooks at jbrooks@juneauempire.com or 523-2258.


More in News

Jasmine Chavez, a crew member aboard the Quantum of the Seas cruise ship, waves to her family during a cell phone conversation after disembarking from the ship at Marine Park on May 10. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire file photo)
Ships in port for the week of June 22

Here’s what to expect this week.

Eddie Petrie shovels gravel into a mine cart as fast as possible during the men’s hand mucking competition as part of Juneau Gold Rush Days on Saturday at Savikko Park. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
Mucking, trucking, chucking and yukking it up at Juneau Gold Rush Days

Logging competitions, live music, other events continue Sunday at Savikko Park.

(Michael Penn / Juneau Empire file photo)
Police calls for Thursday, June 20, 2024

This report contains public information from law enforcement and public safety agencies.

Pins supporting the repeal of ranked choice voting are seen on April 20 at the Republican state convention in Anchorage. (James Brooks/Alaska Beacon)
State judge upholds most fines against group seeking repeal of Alaska ranked choice voting

An Anchorage Superior Court judge has ruled that opponents of Alaska’s ranked… Continue reading

Joshua Midgett and Kelsey Bryce Riker appear on stage as the emcees for MixCast 2023 at the Crystal Saloon. (Photo courtesy Juneau Ghost Light Theatre)
And now for someone completely different: Familiar faces show new personas at annual MixCast cabaret

Fundraiser for Juneau Ghost Light Theatre on Saturday taking place amidst week of local Pride events

Jasz Garrett / Juneau Empire
A section of Angoon along the coast is seen on June 14. Angoon was destroyed by the U.S. Navy in 1882; here is where they first pulled up to shore.
Long-awaited U.S. Navy apology for 1882 bombardment will bring healing to Angoon

“How many times has our government apologized to any American Native group?”

Juneau Mayor Beth Weldon announced this week she plans to seek a third three-year term. (Juneau Empire file photo)
Mayor Beth Weldon seeking third term amidst personal and political challenges

Low mill rate, more housing cited by lifelong Juneau resident as achievements during past term.

(Michael Penn / Juneau Empire file photo)
Police calls for Wednesday, June 19, 2024

This report contains public information from law enforcement and public safety agencies.

A king salmon is laid out for inspection by the Alaska Department of Fish and Game at the Mike Pusich Douglas Harbor during the Golden North Salmon Derby on Aug. 25, 2019. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire file photo)
Emergency order bans king salmon fishing in many Juneau waters between June 24 and Aug. 31

Alaska Department of Fish and Game says low projected spawning population necessitates restrictions

Most Read