A Michigan lawmaker issued an apology after receiving major backlash for a statement he made to a rookie reporter.
Sen. Pete Lucido humiliated 22-year-old reporter Allison Donahue. Donahue has received accolades for standing up to the Michigan lawmaker. Donahue says that Lucido humiliated her when he told her that a group of Catholic high school boys could “have a lot of fun” with her.
Donahue has been employed as a reporter for the Michigan Advance for about eight months. She said one of the hardest things dealing with the situation was telling her father about the confrontation that took place on Tuesday.
The situation took place outside of the Senate chamber in Lansing.
“He was upset,” Donahue said of her father. “I frequently call him after work and tell him about the crazy days I have. It was heartbreaking to tell my dad something like that.”
Donahue opened up and shared that something similar happened to her when she was only 15. “I had to tell him about that, too.”
Lucido, who is a Republican, issued an apology on Wednesday. The apology came only after he received major backlash. When the incident was made public Lucido first stated that he did not owe Donahue an apology and that the situation had been “blown out of proportion.”
“I apologize for the misunderstanding yesterday and for offending Allison Donahue,” Lucido said in a brief statement.
Donahue told the media that she did accept and appreciate Lucido’s apology and added that she hoped that he had read her article about the incident that she published on Tuesday.
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“I hope he reaches out and we can talk more,” Donahue said. “Maybe we can find some common ground.”
Several Michigan lawmakers spoke out about the incident.
Rep. Debbie Dingell posted about the incident on Twitter. “We must stand up to sexist, violent hate speech everywhere-especially in government institutions. Thank you @donahue for bravely telling your story.”
“I take this very seriously and intend to have a very intense and lengthy conversation with the senator as soon as we’re done with the session,” Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey, a Republican, stated. “If those words that were reported are accurate, it’s very unacceptable, and that’s all I’ve got to say about it.”
Shirkey and Senate Democratic leader Jim Ananich has formally requested a sexual harassment investigation.
Lucido is a married father with three children. He is reportedly planning on running for governor in 2022.
Donahue covers education, immigration. LGBTQ and women’s issues for the Michigan Advance.
In her article about the incident, Donahue wrote that she wanted to ask Lucido about his involvement in the anti-Whitmer group on Facebook. She says that the group “posts about graphic violence against Democrats, anti-Muslim rhetoric and degrading comments about women.”
Donahue says that Lucido was hosting a group of students from his alma mater, De La Salle Collegiate. The school is an all boy’s Catholic school.
“I asked Lucido for a moment to address the issue at hand, and he told me he would catch up with me after he was finished honoring the group of students,” Donahue wrote. “As I turned to walk away, he asked, ‘You’ve heard of De La Salle, right?'”
Donahue says that she told him that she had not heard of it.
“It’s an all-boys’ school,’ he told me,” Donahue wrote. “‘ You should hang around! You could have a lot of fun with these boys, or they could have a lot of fun with you.'”