Protesters March To Nolan’s Office Calling For His Resignation

The protesters say they want to hold Nolan accountable after sexual assault allegations against one of his former staffers.

DULUTH, Minn. – Nearly two dozen protesters marched to the front door of Congressman Rick Nolan’s Duluth office.

Calling for his resignation.

The protesters say they want to hold Nolan accountable after sexual assault allegations against one of his former staffers.

They’re upset that staffer was hired back with Nolan’s office, a year later after being let go amid the allegations.

If that means he steps away from representing us then he so be it,” said said 7th Senate District DFL Chair Chris Rubesch. “We need to see accountability from our leadership and the people who represent us at home and in Washington.”

Nolan again said sexual harassment is not condoned in his office or his campaign.

“I would like him to address the issue first and foremost, because he hasn’t even addressed us as his constituents and after that we need to have a conversation with him and if comes to him resigning,” said Rubesch. “I think that’s a powerful statement.”

He believes the protesters are playing politics and support Rep. Erin Murphy’s campaign for governor.

Nolan remains on Lori Swanson’s gubernatorial ticket.

She continues to stand by Nolan.

Nolan’s full statement reads:

“Women, who have talked to MinnPost anonymously, have stated that they were harassed and intimidated by a former older male member of my Congressional staff.  I believed them in 2015 when they reported the harassment and when my chief of staff, Jodie Torkelson, promptly investigated the allegations and let the male staffer go.  In hindsight, my Congressional campaign committee should not have retained the individual as an independent contractor and paid him $1,666 to work off-site for a brief period of time in 2016.  When a concern about this was brought to my attention, his status as an independent contractor was immediately terminated.

Though I am told that at least two of the women quoted anonymously in the story now work for my opponents or their allies, that doesn’t change or diminish in any way the fact that the harassment by the male staffer was wrong and should not be tolerated in any work environment.  I apologize to these women that it did, and for any insensitive comments I may have made. 

I have tried hard during my life to show respect for and give opportunities to women.  My aunt Eleanor Nolan, for whom I worked in the office, was one of the few female attorneys in northern Minnesota in the 1940s, became the first female judge in Minnesota, and taught me at a young age that women deserve equal workplace treatment and opportunities.  In the 1970s, I was an early supporter of the Equal Rights Amendment, to ensure equality for women in all spheres of society.  As a 74 year old male, I am excited to be on the ticket with Lori Swanson, a trailblazer who is a generation younger than me and who will serve Minnesota proud as the first female governor of Minnesota.”

Categories: Community, Minnesota, News, News – Latest News