#MeToo: New York City Mayor's Former Aide Has a History of Sexual Harassment
It's hard to believe that Mayor De Blasio knew nothing O'Brien's past nor had knowledge of him getting a new position in a firm to which De Blasio had ties.
New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio's former top aide, Kevin O'Brien, was forced to resign from his position in Feb. 15, 2018, after it had been discovered that two female employees filed sexual harassment complaints against him.
The New York Times, via investigative reporting, wrote about the resignation and the sexual harassment claims, which were substantiated earlier this month. The mayor's former chief of staff had a reported annual salary of $220,652. Although O'Brien "left" the position immediately, he was still paid until late March 2018.
City Hall hasn't released any details regarding O'Brien's sudden departure in an effort to protect the two women who made the allegations against him.
First Assistant Corporation Counsel Georgia Pestana, who works with the mayor, said: "When you terminate someone, that can be challenged and the offer to resign was one that would take the risk that he would challenge the termination away. If you challenge the termination, the women would likely have been exposed. So my interest was always to protect them and accepting his resignation in lieu of termination was the choice that I made in order to reduce the risk for those women."
However, The New York Times did manage to find one of the women involved and she was contacted for a comment but declined.
Mayor De Blasio spoke about the ordeal expressing that " he was sickened" and "livid" by the situation.
But those feelings didn't keep O'Brien from starting a new position in April 2018. Of course, details of his "resignation" could not legally be released but his new job was given to him by a close acquaintance of the mayor.
The company, Hilltop Public Solutions, is a political consulting and lobbying firm owned by Nick Baldick. Despite the fact that Mayor De Blasio and Baldick have had at least a political relationship for over 20 years, the mayor said he and Baldick are not in "close communication."
"I don't talk to him that often and only recently did I even know that Mr. O'Brien had gone to work for him," the mayor said.
This past Thursday, O'Brien was fired from Hilltop.
The New York Times, on Monday, published another story uncovering another position prior to O'Brien taking his position in New York. Apparently, he had been a senior advisor for Gov. Steve Bullock of Montana in early 2015. O'Brien served under Bullock for a year, even representing him in Washington D.C. for the organization (Democratic Governors Association). He was dismissed in December 2015 for the same substantiated claims of sexual harassment.
Mayor De Blasio states he wasn't aware of the previous accusations even though an extensive background check was supposedly done before his office hired O'Brien.
"He was made aware of the prior situation for the first time today, as a result of your [The New York Times] reporting," Mr. Phillips, who is the press secretary for the mayor, said.
What's even more strange is the background check conducted by the Department of Investigation "received confirmation of title and work dates and no adverse information" about Mr. O'Brien's employment.
It's understandable if the details aren't disclosed to employers verifying his employment but surely "adverse information" such as sexual harassment should be listed. And given his latest offense, it should be listed twice.
Michael Avenatti tweeted that he gave Chicago prosecutors "new critical video evidence."
The students believe requiring fraternities to admit women as members would change the culture of sexual harassment.
Three female undergraduate students at Yale University have filed a class-action lawsuit against the university and nine of its all-male fraternal organizations in hopes of requiring fraternities to admit women as members to change the culture of sexual harassment.
It may not be the $120 million from the original settlement that is now in dispute, but it's still supporting his career.
CBS is paying for the office space that Les Moonves, who left the company in September amid sexual misconduct allegations, is using to build his two new businesses on Sunset Boulevard in West Hollywood.
Moon Rise Technologies, said, in a filing, that it planned to provide "streaming services and distribution," and Moon Rise Productions, said it planned to provide "film and television production" services.
The office building has no directory.
"We don't have a directory because our tenants don't want people to know they are here," a security guard on duty told The New York Times.
In light of the two alleged assaults, the second accuser is calling for Fairfax's resignation.
UPDATED: Feb. 8, 2019 at 5:30 p.m. EST
As the hashtag #IBelieveVanessa circulates on Twitter, in regard to Dr. Vanessa Tyson's claim that she was sexually assaulted by Virginia Lt. Gov. Justin E. Fairfax, another accuser has stepped forward.
Lawyers for Meredith Watson released a statement Friday saying that Fairfax raped her in 2000 while they were both Duke University students. Watson is calling for Fairfax's resignation.
Another woman is accusing Justin Fairfax of sexual assault. Meredith Watson says Fairfax raped her while they were students, according this tweet. https://t.co/6T0mKZprxG
— Yamiche Alcindor (@Yamiche) February 8, 2019
Below is the statement:
We serve as counsel for Meredith Watson, who was raped by Justin Fairfax in 2000, while they were both students at Duke University. Mr. Fairfax's attack was premeditated and aggressive. The two were friends but never dated or had any romantic relationship.
Ms. Watson shared her account of the rape with friends in a series of emails and Facebook messages that are now in our possession. Additionally, we have statements from former classmates corroborating that Ms. Watson immediately told friends that Mr. Fairfax had raped her.
Ms. Watson was upset to learn that Mr. Fairfax raped at least one other woman after he attacked her. The details of Ms. Watson's attack are similar to those described by Dr. Vanessa Tyson.
At this time, Ms. Watson is reluctantly coming forward out of a strong sense of civic duty and her belief that those seeking or serving in public office should be of the highest character. She has no interest in becoming a media personality or reliving the trauma that has greatly affected her life. Similarly, she is not seeking any financial damages.
On behalf of our client, we have notified Justin Fairfax through his attorneys that Ms. Watson hopes he will resign from public office.
ORIGINAL STORY: Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax's Accuser, Vanessa Tyson, Gains Support
Dr. Vanessa Tyson, a fellow at Stanford University, an associate professor at Scripps College, and a founding member of the Boston Area Rape Crisis Center Survivor Speakers' Bureau, released a statement, detailing what she says was sexual assault by Virginia Lt. Gov. Justin E. Fairfax at the Democratic National Convention in Boston in 2004.
Tyson said she was prompted by her lawyers to make a statement after a conservative website, Big League Politics, published one of her private Facebook posts where she vented about Fairfax.
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