BOSTON (CBS) – Massachusetts State Representative Paul McMurtry is now facing an investigation for inappropriate conduct.

The office of House Speaker Robert DeLeo says the alleged inappropriate conduct happened last month when McMurtry was attending the new member legislative academy at UMass Amherst. DeLeo has appointed a special task force to investigate the allegations.

“Any accusation or allegation with respect to sexual assault or harassment needs to be thoroughly and fully investigated and vetted,” said Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker.

State Rep. Paul McMurtry. (WBZ-TV file image)

Speaker DeLeo’s office says four members of the House informed either the Speaker or his staff of the alleged misconduct.

The reports were characterized by more than one member as a “rumor.” Each of the members reporting to have heard of the alleged inappropriate conduct denied first-hand knowledge of the incident.

Representative McMurtry told WBZ-TV in a statement: “Relative to my personal conduct, I can assure you the allegations are absolutely, positively, unequivocally not true. I will participate in any review that leads to the truth of these matters.”

“It’s my understanding that the House did what I would describe as a preliminary investigation and based on the interviews that were done then, (they) decided to purse a full investigation and I think that’s the right way to go,” Baker said Thursday.

In a statement, the Democratic Party called the accusations “serious” and said they are glad that the House is taking swift action to address the allegations.

An Equal Employment Opportunity Officer looked into the matter, called the accusations plausible and required a full investigation.

Gary Brode

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