Former MP accused of sexual harassment returns to mayoral role
Yannick Buttet will return to his role as president of the Collombey-Muraz commune in the canton of Valais on February 1st, nearly two months after he took leave following allegations of sexual harassment against him.
The news was reported by Radio Chablais and confirmed to news agency ATS on Tuesday.
As well as mayor of the commune, Buttet was also a serving MP in the Swiss lower house of parliament when it was revealed in December that he was facing criminal charges for allegedly harassing a former lover and colleague.
After the story broke a number of other women – including journalists and politicians – came forward to say they had also been sexually harassed by Buttet.
Buttet acknowledged he had acted inappropriately towards certain women, saying he had gone through a marital crisis which had affected his judgement and behaviour. According to him, his inappropriate acts in Bern happened in the evenings when he was under the influence of alcohol.
Buttet stepped down as vice-president of the Christian-Democrat Party and took sick leave from his duties as an MP in order to follow medical treatment for alcoholism.
He initially denied he was a ‘harasser’ and ruled out resigning from parliament, but he finally did so two weeks later, saying he wanted to protect his family and personal life.
However he retained his position as mayor of Collombey-Muraz with the support of his party.
In the wake of the scandal the Swiss parliament issued a 'good conduct guide' to all parliamentarians and established an independent body to help fight against sexual harassment and support those affected.