A Nevada state senator accused of sexual harassment has resigned from his position as chair of a transportation committee.

Sen. Mark Manendo, who represent Las Vegas, denies the claims. 
Manendo has said that he takes such allegations seriously, which is why he retained an attorney.
Manendo says he did not retain a lawyer in 2003, when he denied legislative interns' claims that he sexually harassed them. A review that year found no evidence of wrongdoing.

Nevada Senate Majority Leader Aaron D. Ford released the following statement:

“Today, after consulting with Senator Mark Manendo, he and I agreed that he should resign his position as Chair of the Senate Standing Committee on Transportation, pending completion of the investigation into complaints about his conduct. It is important to know that we take allegations of misconduct seriously, and we continue to be committed to conducting a thorough, fair investigation free from any concerns regarding intimidation, retaliation, or bias. 

Because the investigation is ongoing, I want to make it clear that I am not passing judgment at this time. No final findings have been provided or conclusions reached. While I had hoped the investigation could be completed by now, more allegations have been brought forward since commencing the investigation that require more time to complete the inquiry. Once the investigator provides final findings, I will determine whether to reinstate Senator Manendo as Chair and whether any other action is necessary.

Additionally, I have asked our attorneys to review the policies of the Senate to determine how we can improve the complaint process to ensure we have a responsive, efficient and effective manner in which to bring complaints and have complaints addressed. To the greatest extent possible, the Senate must be able to carry out its business free of these kinds of issues so that we can focus on what we came here to do, which is to make the best policies and laws for the State of Nevada.”

(The Associated Press also contributed to this report.)