Arizona Statehouse launches sexual harassment investigation

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(Source: 3TV/CBS 5) (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)

The Arizona Statehouse has launched an investigation into multiple allegations of sexual harassment against Rep. Don Shooter and other lawmakers. 

An eight-member bipartisan team will conduct the probe that could lead to punishments ranging from a reprimand to getting kicked out of office. 

[RELATED: Arizona House launches sexual harassment investigations]

This follows allegations made Tuesday by Rep. Michelle Ugenti-Rita against Shooter. 

In an exclusive interview with CBS 5 and 3TV, Ugenti-Rita, a Republican from Scottsdale, said Shooter harassed her for years. 

[READ MORE: Powerful lawmaker accused of sexual harassment at AZ State Capitol]

Shooter initially said he was sorry by promising to "do better." But hours later he retracted the apology, calling Ugenti-Rita a liar and threatened potential legal action. 

Since she came forward other woman have accused Shooter of inappropriate behavior. 

In addition, Rep. Kelly Townsend, R-Mesa, claimed she was harassed by male lawmakers, but not Shooter. 

[READ MORE: Arizona lawmaker cites sexual harassment by male colleagues]

Unlike Ugenti-Rita, Townsend would not name names. 

Currently, there are five open investigations into sexual harassment the bipartisan team will have to go through. 

This includes allegations against Shooter as well as accusations he made against Ugenti-Rita.

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Dennis WlechVeteran political reporter Dennis Welch is a well-respected political expert in Arizona.

Dennis Welch
Political Editor

Before making the move to television, Welch wrote and edited for the Arizona Guardian, a highly influential online news site dedicated to Arizona politics and government where he served as owner and editor. During his Guardian days, Welch was a frequent guest on “Politics Unplugged” and has been a regular fixture on the state political landscape since 2005 appearing on numerous radio and television talk shows. “I am thrilled to start working with such a talented and dedicated staff of journalists,” said Welch. “This is a great opportunity to broaden the reach of my political coverage and tell stories that affect Arizona voters and their families.” With more than 13 years of experience under his belt, Welch’s arrival only strengthens 3TV’s commitment to providing first-rate political and government coverage across all platforms. When not covering politics, Welch is an avid runner and fronts a punk rock band that plays frequently throughout the Southwest and California. Welch is a well-respected political expert in Arizona and his addition means 3TV will provide a stronger, more robust political presence in Arizona. He joins 3TV from the Arizona Guardian, a highly influential online news site dedicated to Arizona politics and government where he served as owner and editor. During his Guardian days, Welch was a frequent guest on “Politics Unplugged” and has been a regular fixture on the state political landscape since 2005 appearing on numerous radio and television talk shows. “I am thrilled to start working with such a talented and dedicated staff of journalists,” said Welch. “This is a great opportunity to broaden the reach of my political coverage and tell stories that affect Arizona voters and their families.” With more than 13 years of experience under his belt, Welch’s arrival only strengthens 3TV’s commitment to providing first-rate political and government coverage across all platforms. When not covering politics, Welch is an avid runner and fronts a punk rock band that plays frequently throughout the Southwest and California.

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