Committee decides to keep controversial Rep. Coleman in Kansas legislature

Capitol Bureau

TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) – Kansas City Representative Aaron Coleman got a win at the Kansas Statehouse on Friday. A special committee dismissed a complaint filed against Coleman.

Coleman has a history of controversial tweets, threatening texts, allegations of abuse, and has admitted to revenge porn and bullying as a child. Some of the accusations against him happened well before he was elected, but a group of lawmakers wanted him kicked out of office.

Coleman addressed his past on Friday.

“At 20 years old, I am also embarrassed to be standing before you today. I have said things that were offensive and hurtful to others, and to convince myself that my own personal issues or my passion for a particular cause somehow absolved me, I was wrong,” Coleman said in a statement to the committee. “I apologize, not only for what I said but the impact on the persons to whom those words were directed.”

The committee had the power to recommend that the full house could reprimand, censure, or expel Coleman from the legislature. Instead, it will send the 20-year-old a public letter with recommendations on how to change and a warning to shape up.

House Minority Leader Tom Sawyer, who was a part of the the complaint, was hoping for more.

“I don’t want to send the wrong message that we say it’s okay to be abusive to women and continue that pattern and get by with it. Hopefully, at least, this puts a stop to it, that he’s got to change, or he’s gone,” Sawyer said.

Coleman who didn’t have an office for the first week of the session was given one this week. It has yet to be determined if he will be placed on any committees.

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