Letter: Why is accused lawmakers still in office?

Monday, February 12, 2018

A Republican state lawmaker criminally charged with sexually assaulting a minor is still sitting in office, representing constituents, and making decisions that affect thousands of people.

Eric Schleien, a 29-year-old man who allegedly lured a 16-year-old girl into his car by offering to mentor her and then sexually assaulted her, is still a sitting member of the New Hampshire House of Representatives.

In the 200-plus days since the representative was charged with one count of sexually assaulting a minor and two counts of simple assault, New Hampshire’s Republican Gov. Chris Sununu, who touts a “zero tolerance” policy for sexual harassment, has remained silent about whether Schleien belongs in the New Hampshire House of Representatives. Time is up.

It’s time for Sununu to end his empty rhetoric and stop shielding Schleien with his deafening silence.

It’s time for New Hampshire Republicans to put principle before party and say once and for all they won’t stand for an accused child molester representing Granite Staters.

It’s time for Eric Schleien to resign.

Schleien cannot be allowed to continue to fly under the radar. His presence in the New Hampshire House of Representatives is shameful.

Elizabeth Renda

Washington, D.C.

(Renda is women’s media director for the Democratic National Committee.)