Rep. Wilson says she was bullied by a fellow legislator
The North Pole member of the Alaska House, who is refusing to attend sexual harassment training in Juneau until a case against a former legislator is investigated, said on Wednesday that another legislator had bullied her twice and got away with it.
In her new allegations, Rep. Tammie Wilson (R-North Pole) said Bill Stoltze, a former Republican representative and senator from Chugiak, had yelled at her, got so mad he broke a window, threw things around in his office and cursed at her, when she went against him.
Previously, Wilson, a member of the Republican House minority, had complained about former Rep. Dean Westlake, a Democrat from Kiana. Westlake
, but Wilson said the House majority had buried
Stoltze, a long-term House member, easily won election to the Alaska Senate in 2014. But he surprised his colleagues, when he announced he wouldn’t seek re-election to a redistricted Senate seat in 2016, citing ill-health.
In a telephone interview, Stoltze said he didn't confront Wilson, but acknowledged using "inappropriate" language in describing Wilson to another legislator.
Wilson alleges that when Stoltze was co-chairman of the House Finance Committee and she was in her first term – probably 2011 – Stoltze became incensed, after she tried to rename a bill she had proposed about the Alaska Railroad. In a telephone interview Wednesday, Wilson said she had originally given the bill a narrow title, and said it dealt solely with a constituent’s land that came into conflict with the railroad.
When Stoltze renamed the bill, Wilson said she worried that he had plans to put other items into it. According to Wilson, her argument with Stoltze came during a private meeting with other legislators, when she said she wanted the original title restored.
Stoltze stormed from the room, broke out a window in a mens room, and threw things around in his office, she alleged.
Stoltze said he had no ill intent in renaming the bill, and accidentally broke the window when he slammed the bathroom door. The window was already cracked, he said, but added that he shouldn't have slammed the door.
More recently, before Stoltze left the Legislature, Wilson said he had wanted the state to pay for a water project in his district. At the time, the state’s budget was collapsing and the only capital projects being approved by the Legislature involved matching funds from somewhere other than the state – Stoltze’s project did not, Wilson said.
Consequently, Wilson alleged that Stoltze went to her office and cussed her.
According to Wilson, another legislator was there at the time, and a House member complained to Senate leaders. The message that came back, Wilson said, was that she should stay away from Stoltze – not that he had done something wrong.
Wilson wouldn’t identify the other legislator or the Senate leaders who received the complaint.
But Jeff Landfield, the blogger who on Tuesday
with Stoltze in Alaska Landmine, said the other legislator was probably former House member Lynn Gattis, and the leader in the Senate who did nothing was Charlie Huggins. Both are seeking statewide office, Landfield noted.
Stoltze said he never said bad words to Wilson but acknowledged describing her to Gattis in an inappropriate way. He said he would have apologized to Wilson but didn't see her again until a funeral sometime later. He said he shook her hand and thought the matter was resolved.
Stoltze said Senate leaders talked to him in passing about his behavior.
Later, Wilson said Landfield’s account "is absolutely true."