Welch: Allegations against Franken should be taken 'seriously'

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BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) Representative Peter Welch says recent allegations against Senator Al Franken should be taken seriously.

The Minnesota senator was accused of sexual misconduct. He visited Vermont last fall to campaign and raise money for Democrats. Senate leaders have called for an ethics investigation, and Franken says he'll cooperate.

Welch says Franken's future should depend on the outcome. "I think the facts should come out. I mean, this happened in 2006. Sen. Franken acknowledges his conduct was way, way out of line. Will there be more allegations that come up as we saw with Judge Moore? I don't know. So, I take it seriously," Welch said.

Welch says his office takes sexual harassment and misconduct seriously, and that his office has a robust policy in place that includes anti-harassment training. He says even isolated cases reported in Congress are intolerable.

"This is a problem in Congress, but it's a problem in our society, so this is very serious and there cannot be any tolerance for the use of power to harass women," he said.

Welch says there have been no complaints filed by his staff since he was elected in 2006.