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State Senator Lena Taylor won't quit, calls recent events "political lynching"

MILWAUKEE (AP) — A black Wisconsin state senator accused of using offensive language in an argument with a bank teller said Wednesday that she's a victim of a "political lynching" and will not quit the Legislature.

Sen. Lena Taylor said her interaction with a Wells Fargo bank teller whom — according to witnesses — she called a "good house (N-word)" during a check-cashing dispute has been mischaracterized. The teller also is black.

"I'm saddened of the rush to judgment. The racism that exists in this community, and if I can be very candid, in the media as well as the (Milwaukee Police Department)," she said while she was surrounded by a couple of dozen supporters in an office building in her district.

The Milwaukee Democrat faces a disorderly conduct citation for the April 6 incident.

Taylor again disputed those accounts and said she used a different word that's similar to "Negro." She says she often refers to friends as "my kind of Negro."

"I say it at all the time," she said.

She said the incident "does not speak to my character and who I am" and addressed her political future.

"Just in case it's not clear, I ain't going," she said.

On Tuesday, Taylor was ordered to be trained in anti-harassment policies and management coaching after a former staffer accused her of retaliation and bullying.

Taylor said the accusations are from a disgruntled former employee who was "unwilling to meet the requirements" of the job.

The former staffer's complaint prompted Democratic Minority Leader Jennifer Shilling to remove Taylor from the Legislature's powerful budget-writing Joint Finance Committee.

She said the allegations she has recently faced "does not speak to my character or who I am."

"It does not change the way that I fight for my community and the work that I've gotten done," she said.

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