Sexual harassment scandal hits S.D. Capitol

South Dakota has a brewing sexual harassment scandal between a lobbyist and an ex-lawmaker and this one sets a new standard for ugly.

“She can go to hell,” Gene Abdallah said of Tiffany Campbell, a lobbyist who sent emails to state senators — Abdallah has been nominated to the Board of Pardons and the Senate must confirm him — claiming Abdallah asked to go to the restroom with her to watch her pee during the 2012 legislative session when he was a senator, the Sioux Falls Argus Leader reports today.

“I resent the fact that she’s using sleazy and gutter politics for some sort of personal gain,” Abdallah told the newspaper. “If she’d spent as much time trying to keep her family together maybe she’d still have them now.”

Campbell was divorced in 2010.

Campbell told the Argus Leader she knew what would happen went she sent the emails asking the board to reject Abdallah’s appointment.

“Why would anyone want to do this? Why would anyone want to be publicly known as that person?” Campbell said. “To think that he’s going to be appointed to the parole board, I just couldn’t stay quiet anymore.”

Campbell reported the incident to legislative leaders but they said they couldn’t investigate it because it allegedly happened at a local watering hole frequented by legislators.

She didn’t pursue it beyond that because she had three pieces of legislation she was trying to get passed.

“If Senator Abdallah made such a comment, it would be inappropriate,” Attorney General Marty Jackley, who made the appointment, said. “However, Senator Abdallah has denied making the comment.”