Missouri Senate to review new claims against LeVota

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JEFFERSON CITY (KTVI) - Missouri Governor Jay Nixon and U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill are both questioning the ability of fellow Democratic State Senator Paul LeVota to continue to serve his constituents.

LeVota faces allegations from two former interns that he made sexually in appropriate statements to them. One intern, who worked this winter for LeVota, told an independent Senate investigator after she refused his sexual advances her assignments as an intern were diminished and that she was retaliated against. The second intern who worked for him when he was a Missouri House member told her story to the Kansas City Star.

That revelation prompted Missouri Senate leader Tom Dempsey to call for a Senate ethics committee investigation into the allegations. Dempsey said, "...under the Senate rules, I am referring these allegations to the Senate Rules and Ethics Committee."

LeVota denies the allegations and says the intern failed to substantiate her charges about phone text messages. LeVota refused to turn his personal phone over to the investigator saying "as the accused I didn't think it was fair that I produce my phone."

The Senate Democratic minority leader Senator Joe Keaveny of St. Louis said it is important that a hearing be held. He said "accusations like these should be treated in a manner that is fair and just to both the accused and the accuser."