MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Following two high-profile cases, some lawmakers say Minnesota laws may need to be changed to help protect victims of sexual harassment.
State Sen. Terri Bonoff (DFL – District 44) is among the legislators expressing concern now that a second Minnesota university is facing accusations of sexually inappropriate behavior by a top athletic official.
Late last week, The Winona Daily News reported that long-time men’s basketball coach Mike Leaf had resigned abruptly in June after a player said he had been propositioned by Leaf.
The newspaper reported that the player had filed a complaint with the school, saying that Leaf had made a series of drunk and unwanted sexual advances towards him.
The revelation came as the University of Minnesota is in the early stages of an investigation into the behavior of Norwood Teague, who resigned earlier this month from his post as athletic director.
Three women have come forward publicly with harassment claims against Teague.
Some lawmakers say Minnesota laws protecting victims need to be strengthened. Some lawmakers are also angry they weren’t told about gender discrimination claims involving Teague, including one that was settled by the University of Minnesota for $175,000.
Bonoff, the chair of the Minnesota Senate’s Higher Education Committee, was a guest on WCCO Sunday Morning.
“I have been speaking with our Senate counsel,” she said. “I have asked him to look at what is on the books…and I think that there will be some changes that can be made to strengthen protection for victims.”
Documents released by the University of Minnesota indicate Teague did not disclose a sex discrimination claim against him at the job he held before coming to Minnesota.
That claim at Virginia Commonwealth University was settled for $125,000.