The relationship between former House Speaker John Diehl, Jr. and a college intern has lawmakers saying they will take a hard look this summer at the state Capitol’s internship program. Diehl resigned as speaker after admitting to exchanging sexually-charged messages with an intern.
His successor, Todd Richardson (R-Poplar Bluff), says several state representatives have already approached him about reviewing the House’s intern policy.
“I want to make sure that this state Capitol is an environment where young people can come and get the experience in public service that I think they really deserve as part of their college career.”
Governor Jay Nixon (D) said of the scandal involving Diehl that the Capitol should be a place where public servants carry out the people’s business transparently and ethically.
“Young men and women should be able to learn how their government works without fear of harassment, intimidation or other inappropriate conduct,” said Nixon. “Sadly this past week has been a jarring reminder of what happens when people lose sight of what they’re here to do and who they are here to serve.”
House Minority Floor Leader Jacob Hummel (D-St. Louis) said lawmakers will spend some time this summer addressing the matter.
“I know that on both sides of the aisle, this is a bi-partisan issue that needs to be fixed.”
Richardson says they plan to have a new policy in place by next year. Diehl resigned last week after the release of a story by the Kansas City Star.