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Texas House Speaker Dade Phelan addresses date-rape allegations against lobbyist

"For too long, the culture of the House has made victims feel as though they should not come forward," Phelan said.

AUSTIN, Texas — Texas House Speaker Dade Phelan on Monday called on lawmakers and others to do more to protect women working in the Capitol and participating in legislative business amid a criminal investigation into whether a lobbyist recently drugged a staffer during a downtown meeting.

"For too long, the culture of the House has made victims feel as though they should not come forward," Phelan said.

He praised the accuser in the matter currently under investigation and is working with officials to ensure that an email is established for people who wish to report possible inappropriate behavior.

RELATED: Texas DPS investigating date-rape drug allegation from Capitol staffer

The Texas Department of Public Safety is investigating the allegation, which prompted DPS officials to notify Phelan's office and that of Gov. Greg Abbott in recent days, KVUE Senior Reporter Tony Plohetski reported Saturday.

Authorities have released little information about the allegation.

Throughout the weekend, lawmakers from both sides of the political aisle denounced on social media inappropriate conduct toward women and called for a thorough investigation.

Meanwhile, a well-known lobbying firm based in Austin issued a statement Sunday and acknowledged that one of its employees is part of the investigation.

"HillCo Partners immediately hired outside counsel and a respected former law enforcement official to conduct an internal investigation," the firm said. "If facts come to light that anyone associated with HillCo partners had any involvement with such conduct, that person will be immediately terminated. HillCo will cooperate with law enforcement in its investigation."

On Monday, Plohetski confirmed that an Austin lobbyist who is part of the investigation has hired high-profile lawyers to represent him. The lawyers, David and Perry Minton, released a statement that read:

"We represent one of the parties that is purportedly being looked into regarding a capitol staffer allegedly being drugged. At this stage we do not plan to identify this client publicly, but we can state that he has cooperated at every level requested to date. If, in fact, somebody drugged a capitol staffer, it was not our client nor any employee of Hillco Partners. We can state this with absolute certainty. We respectfully request that everyone involved proceed with due caution before an innocent person's life is ruined."

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