The state House and Senate have a restraining order against a man accused of sexually harassing legislative staff and interns at the Capitol, but it’s still not clear what that man was doing in the Capitol.
House Chief Clerk Adam Crumbliss said after several complaints were made about David Poger, the House and Senate took the extraordinary step of getting a temporary restraining order to keep Poger out of the people’s Capitol. Crumbliss said that was to keep people from being harassed while more claims are investigated.
See earlier story including complaints and court filings against Poger
Crumbliss hasn’t been able to determine why Poger was in the Capitol. He isn’t registered as a lobbyist.
“I have no rationale as to why he was here, why he was in the building, who he was in the building to meet with, or what he was doing here,” said Crumbliss.
An online resume says Poger was a Senior Political Director for Congressman William Lacy Clay from March 2011 through this month, but Clay’s Communications Director Steven Engelhardt says Poger has never worked for Clay, “in any capacity.” That same profile lists Poger since 2001 as the Senior Managing Director for Public/Private Sector Strategies (PPSS), a firm in St. Louis.
The House’s attorney contacted Poger and asked that he stop coming to the Capitol while complaints are investigated.
“He essentially … was belligerent, indicated that he was going to be coming to the Capitol, that was not our decision, and that’s really what sparked the [temporary restraining order] interest in that we really wanted him to not be present until we can really figure out the scope of what we’re dealing with,” said Crumbliss.
Crumbliss says it’s a serious action to seek to keep someone out of a public building, especially the Capitol.
“I certainly believe that every citizen has the right to address grievances and express their views, but when it comes to questions of safety, I believe the public also has a right to be safe in those places,” said Crumbliss.
Crumbliss feels the House’s new sexual harassment policy worked, and believes the culture in Jefferson City is shifting.