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Massachusetts House to Probe Claim of Inappropriate Conduct

Massachusetts House Speaker Robert DeLeo is forming a special committee to investigate reports of inappropriate conduct during an orientation event for newly elected lawmakers.

The speaker's office said in a statement that four members of the House reported that they had heard of the inappropriate conduct but did not have firsthand knowledge of the alleged incident and did not identify any individuals involved.

The Boston Globe, which first reported on the allegations, identified the lawmaker accused of sexual misconduct as Rep. Paul McMurtry, a Democrat from Dedham and a member of DeLeo's leadership team.

DeLeo declined to address the specific allegations Thursday but told reporters the House has a "comprehensive set of rules to deal with situations such as this."

The event took place last month at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst.

The statement said the information was referred to an equal employment opportunity officer, Cynthia Farquhar, who is under contract with the House.

Farquhar later told House officials the allegation was "plausible."

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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