LA CROSSE, Wis. (WXOW) - Several state and federal political leaders commented on the release of a report regarding sexual assault and harassment in the Wisconsin National Guard.
The report led Governor Tony Evers to demand, and receive, the resignation of the commander of the guard, Major General Donald Dunbar on Monday.
Prior to the announcement of his resignation, Dunbar said he intends to implement all recommendations made following an investigation into multiple reports of sexual assault and harassment.
Governor Tony Evers was one of those who released statements on the report.
“I am extremely upset and concerned with the National Guard Bureau Office of Complex Investigations’ findings, especially with how the Wisconsin National Guard investigates sexual assault allegations,” said Gov. Evers. “Our service members deserve to be safe and supported while carrying out their important mission, which is why I have ordered the Wisconsin National Guard to implement top-to-bottom changes to ensure a safe workplace in the Guard, one that is free of sexual assault and harassment and the fear they might face retaliation for reporting sexual assault or harassment when it happens.”
Wisconsin Attorney General Josh Kaul:
“Sexual assault is a violent crime that must always be taken seriously,” said AG Kaul. “I support Governor Evers’ swift response to the National Guard Bureau Office of Complex Investigations report, with his issuance of Executive Order #62. No survivor of sexual assault should be denied justice because of an outdated and insufficient system. The Wisconsin Department of Justice is working with Governor Evers to assess additional appropriate actions in light of the findings in the National Guard Bureau Office of Complex Investigations report.”
U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin:
“I have a tremendous amount of respect for the service and sacrifice of our Wisconsin National Guard service members and I have worked for over a year to do right by courageous whistleblowers and brave survivors of sexual assault who came forward and contacted my office. I want to thank Governor Evers for joining me in calling for the National Guard Bureau’s Office of Complex Investigations to conduct this independent and comprehensive assessment of the Wisconsin National Guard’s handling of sexual assault and harassment.
“Our Wisconsin National Guard service members deserve leadership of unmatched integrity and a work environment free of sexual assault, harassment and the fear of retaliation. This National Guard Bureau report makes clear they have received neither. The failure of leadership, wrongdoing, and lack of accountability that has been uncovered demands change at the Wisconsin National Guard, including new leadership and implementing all of the report’s recommendations on how best to prevent sexual assault and harassment, and confront it with accountability when it occurs. Now that the first steps of change are being taken, I support Governor Evers’ executive order to work towards true justice for the survivors of sexual assault and accountability for those that committed crimes against them.”
State Senator Jennifer Shilling:
“I appreciate the swift action by Gov. Evers, Sen. Baldwin and the National Guard Bureau to conduct a thorough review of the Wisconsin National Guard and its handling of sexual assault, sexual harassment and retaliation. I want to commend all of the Guard members and survivors who came forward to share their experiences and expose this very troubling situation. This report is just the beginning of a long road ahead. I encourage other individuals who have experienced sexual assault, sexual harassment or retaliation to report their concerns and help to ensure that justice is served.”