Missouri prison harassment reports spur call for review

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todd-richardson-e1431653316785JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) _ Missouri’s Republican House Speaker Todd Richardson is calling for an investigation of the state Department of Corrections after reports of widespread workplace harassment.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch (http://bit.ly/2h7tw7F ) on Wednesday reported Richardson says he won’t tolerate what he said appears to be a culture of sexual harassment.

The alternative weekly Kansas City paper The Pitch first reported claims of harassment and subsequent lawsuits. The Pitch reported that Missouri between 2012 and 2016 paid more than $7.5 million on settlements and judgments related to those alleging harassment and retaliation.

Gov. Jay Nixon told reporters Wednesday that he wasn’t aware of specifics.

Department of Corrections spokesman David Owen said in an email to The Associated Press that employees receive mandatory sexual harassment training annually, and supervisors are trained every three years.