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MinnPost reports sexual harassment accusations against former Nolan staffer

Rep. Rick Nolan speaks during a health care forum organized by the Head of the Lakes United Way at the Depot in Duluth. Forum News Service file photo

A former legislative director for Rep. Rick Nolan, D-Minn., was accused of multiple instances of sexual harassment, according to a MinnPost report published on Thursday, July 19.

The report quotes several anonymous sources who worked for Nolan’s office or campaign as saying Jim Swiderski was allowed “to resign his post and tell colleagues he was looking for new opportunities rather than make him face formal disciplinary consequences after several female staffers raised harassment allegations.” Swiderski was then brought on as a “vendor” for the 2016 campaign before losing his job, the report says.

“These staffers remain disturbed over the way Swiderski’s behavior was handled by Nolan and his most trusted lieutenants, particularly chief of staff Jodie Torkelson and district director Jeff Anderson,” the story reads.

Nolan is leaving Congress after three hard-fought victories in the northeastern Minnesota swing district that has been among the most expensive House races in the country. But questions surrounding his leadership could affect next month’s close three-way Democratic primary for governor; Attorney General Lori Swanson just made Nolan her running mate last month.

The report can be read here.

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