Following accusations of misconduct, State Assembly leadership removed Representative Josh Zepnick (D – Milwaukee) from his standing committee assignments. The action came at the request of Assembly Minority Leader Gordon Hintz (D – Oshkosh).
It’s been alleged by two women that Zepnick kissed them without consent at separate events in 2011 and 2015. Despite Democratic legislators urging his resignation, Zepnick has not stepped down.
“There is still a U.S. Constitution that provides something called ‘due process’ where I have the right to defend myself,” Zepnick said in a statement.
Hintz told the media that removing Zepnick from committee assignments is “one of the few disciplinary actions” he can take. At this time, Assembly leadership is discussing what further actions are available to them.
In speaking to WTMJ 4 in Milwaukee, Zepnick told reporters in relation to the 2015 incident, “It happened. I regret it. It wasn’t intended to cause anybody any harm.” However, Zepnick claims he doesn’t recall the allegation from 2011.
In both incidents, the women claimed Zepnick had been drinking, which the legislator acknowledges.
Zepnick says his future as a legislator should be left up to his voting constituents. He will be up for reelection in November 2018.