Published: Wed, March 14, 2018
Markets | By Rosalie Gross

Bill Dix's kiss controversy sends shock waves through the Statehouse

Bill Dix's kiss controversy sends shock waves through the Statehouse

Senate Majority Leader Bill Dix quit after video of the tryst was posted on liberal blog Iowa Starting Line.

In a statement today, Iowa Senate President Jack Whitver said: "Effective at 2pm today, Bill Dix resigned his position as Majority Leader and State Senator".

"I believe he made the right decision for himself and for his district, but most importantly, I believe he made the decision in the best interest of his family", said Whitver about Dix.

The lobbyist has not been identified, but reportedly worked with the legislature, particularly Dix who was in charge of moving measures to the floor as majority leader. The video shows the two kiss. The hook-up reportedly occurred on March 1 at the Waveland Tap, a watering hole about five miles from the Des Moines State Capitol.

The woman in the video, Lindsey McCune, is a lobbyist representing smaller cities within the state of Iowa.

One of the clients she represents, the Iowa League of Cities, issued a brief statement: "We are taking what we believe are appropriate actions, but because this is a personnel matter we can not comment further".

Senate Minority Leader Janet Petersen, a Des Moines Democrat, released a statement calling the video a 'serious matter'. Some called for Dix's resignation over the Senate's treatment of the case, which was settled for $1.75 million and resulted in the creation of a human resources manager position to handle harassment complaints down the road.

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Dix flip-flopped on whether the Senate would seek outside help handling the hostile workplace environment that led to a jury awarding that former staffer $2.2 million in damages last July.

Earlier in the day, Gov. Kim Reynolds expressed "extreme disappointment" and told reporters at her weekly morning news conference she planned to meet privately with Dix.

Dix was not at his Capitol office on Monday, according to the Register, and a spokesman declined to comment on the video. She did not immediately respond to a request for comment after Dix's resignation.

Republicans in the GOP-controlled chamber plan to elect a new majority leader on Wednesday.

Dix has maintained the ex-staffer was sacked for poor performance. In Nov., he held a rambling press conference in which he claimed that a report prepared by the Senate staff showed that harassment was no longer a problem in the Republican caucus.

Separately, a former Republican senator was tasked late a year ago with reviewing workplace culture at the Iowa Senate.

He did so during his 10 years in the Iowa House of Representatives.

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