BISMARCK, NORTH DAKOTA – The North Dakota House on Thursday voted to expel a lawmaker accused of threatening and sexually harassing women at the Capitol, the first time in state history a lawmaker has been expelled.
Members voted 69-25 to expel Rep. Luke Simons, a Republican from Dickinson, for a pattern of behavior they said stretched back to soon after he took office in 2017. The expulsion came with strong support from Simons’ own party, which holds a supermajority in the chamber.
Majority Leader Chet Pollert, who co-sponsored the resolution to expel, said Simons had been given “multiple chances to avoid being in this situation.”
“There is only one way to make this behavior stop and that is to expel Rep. Simons from this House,” Pollert said.
Simons, who denied wrongdoing, was defiant before the vote. He blamed accusers for “twisting my words,” said any other lawmaker could be in his position and complained that he was not being afforded due process.
“I could make any accusation against any of you,” Simons said ahead of the vote. “Under this circumstance we are under, you’re guilty.”
Surrounded by his family and friends following the vote, Simons said he believed he would have had “a lot more support” from his fellow lawmakers.
Lynn Boughey, his attorney, said he may argue the case in court but would leave that up to Simons “after he talks with his family.”
Simons is accused of a pattern of sexually aggressive, lewd and threatening behavior….