JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. -- After his son was accused and subsequently expelled from Washington University in St. Louis last year through the school's Title IX process, a leading Jefferson City lobbyist launched a campaign to change the law for every campus in Missouri.
Richard McIntosh has argued to legislators that Title IX, the federal law barring sexual discrimination in education and mandating that schools set up internal systems to police sexual violence, is tilted unfairly against the accused. His proposals -- made first as a failed amendment to an unrelated bill near the end of the 2018 session and then this year as a full-fledged bill -- create more protections for those accused of Title IX violations.
Rep. Peggy McGaugh, R-Carrollton, was a supporter of McIntosh's amendment last session. She said Tuesday that she didn't know about his son's expulsion initially, but she said McIntosh later told her about it and she even met with his son.
McGaugh said she had a son graduate from the University of Missouri, and she feels she has a "commonality" with McIntosh for that reason even though "my son's never been in trouble like that." She said she feels due process is important for both complainants and the accused.
Asked about his son's expulsion last month, McIntosh referred questions to his lawyer. Matthew Jacober declined to discuss the matter. He did not return a phone message Tuesday.
Had McIntosh's 2018 amendment been enacted, it would have allowed his son to appeal the result of his Title IX hearing to the state Administrative Hearing Commission, where his mother and McIntosh's wife, Audrey Hanson McIntosh, is the presiding and managing commissioner.
The 2018 amendment was offered by Rep. Shamed Dogan, R-Ballwin, who said he was encouraged by McIntosh. Dogan also said he believes the changes are necessary. The Title IX amendment was eventually cut out of the bill in a different committee. Dogan declined to comment for this story.
Prior to this session, which started in January, McIntosh provided a standalone bill to his friend, Rep. Dean Dohrman, R-La Monte. McIntosh asked him to sponsor it, Dohrman said last month.
Dohrman declined to comment on whether he was aware of McIntosh's son's expulsion before he agreed to sponsor the bill.
The initial version of McIntosh's House bill from this session would have allowed those suspended or expelled for Title IX violations, including those like his son, whose case had already been decided, to appeal their punishments to the same administrative court where McIntosh's wife sits. It also contained an emergency clause making the measure effective immediately.