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House hires firm to investigate Cornish allegations

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Rep. Tony Cornish
NeuVest will investigate claims of sexual harassment against Rep. Tony Cornish.
Jim Mone | AP 2013

The Minnesota House Tuesday hired a St. Paul company called NeuVest to investigate the sexual misconduct allegations against Rep. Tony Cornish.

Patrick McCormack, the director of the nonpartisan House Research Department, said in a statement that NeuVest will conduct a neutral and thorough investigation of the allegations.

The firm specializes in workplace issues. McCormick said NeuVest uses experienced, licensed attorneys and that Margaret Westin of NeuVest will be the primary investigator.

Rep. Erin Maye Quade, DFL-Apple Valley, accused Cornish last week of sending her inappropriate text messages. An unnamed lobbyist accused him of making aggressive sexual advances. Cornish has denied only the lobbyist's claims.

Late last week, Republican House Speaker Kurt Daudt and DFL Minority Leader Melissa Hortman agreed to hire an outside investigator to consider the claims.

The contract shows that the House will pay NeuVest $275 per hour for its work. It's unclear how long the independent investigation will take or how much it will cost.