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Following Hite Scandal, Ohio Senate Will Require Sexual Harassment Class

Former Ohio Senator Cliff Hite.
Cliff Hite

In the wake of state Sen. Cliff Hite's resignation, and the revelation of his "inappropriate behavior" toward a state employee, all Ohio state senators will be required to receive sexual harassment training.

Sen. Cliff Hite, a Republican from Findlay, resigned suddenly on Monday. In a statement on Wednesday, he explained that he asked a female state employee for hugs and talked with her “in a way that was not appropriate for a married man, father, and grandfather like myself."

Hite says there was no inappropriate physical contact other than the hugs.

"The combination of my mistake in judgment and my failing health led me to decide to step down, so someone else can represent the good people of my district," Hite said.

Senate president Larry Obhof, a Republican from Medina, said that he strongly suggested to Hite he either fight the allegations or resign after learning of them earlier this month.

Now, Obhof says both Republican and Democratic senators and their staffs will be required to receive sexual harassment training, which is still being arranged.

Obhof says they already have a retreat where lawmakers learn about legislative ethics and campaign finance laws.

“Moving forward in the General Assembly we will include this as part of that training as well," Obhof says. "But in the short term we plan to have something like that for members and staff of both parties in the near future.”