Committee recommends Senator Frye-Mueller be censured
PIERRE, S.D. (SDBA) -- The special state Senate committee looking into an incident by Sen. Julie Frye-Mueller with a state employee recommends the Rapid City Republican be censured and reinstated.
The Senate Select Committee on Discipline and Expulsion met for nearly four hours Tuesday evening.
In addition to censure and reinstatement, Frye-Mueller would be banned from working with the Legislative Research Council for the remainder of the session.
Frye-Mueller complained about the process. Frye-Mueller often referred to her Senate colleagues as “you guys” and said there was a political agenda to “get” her.
“There’s no way in the world I’m going to let this go,” Frye-Mueller said. “I’ve been treated absolutely terrible. I’m humiliated that you have all ran me through the ringer; that you publicized stuff that you didn’t even know it was true. You didn’t even give me a chance. You hid everything from me.”
Republican Sen. Helene Duhamel of Rapid City asked Frye-Miller about the appropriateness of her conversation with the state employee.
“If you are not friends, is it appropriate to talk about very personal issues?” Duhamel asked. “In particular, breast feeding, with your husband present; and vaccines and clearly in an upsetting way to a new mother who is somebody you work with; somebody who is your employee?”
“I would have thought she was perfectly comfortable with us; perfectly comfortable,” Frye-Mueller replied.
The select committee is scheduled to consider Wednesday at noon. If the committee adopts the draft, it would be on the floor of the Senate for consideration that same afternoon.
Frye-Mueller, who represents District 30, was pulled from her committee assignments after an exchange with a female legislative staff member. A day later, the Senate voted to indefinitely suspend Frye-Mueller pending an investigation into an exchange the senator had with a Legislative Research Council staffer.
Here is the statement from the LRC staff member, regarding her conversation with Frye-Mueller:
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