REUTERS

As Sexual Harassment Claims Become Exposed, Congress Tries to Pick Up the Pieces

As the latest round of sexual harassment allegations has focused less on the creative/media sector and set its sights on Capitol Hill, Congress is scrambling to update policies that tend to cloak our elected public servants in shadows of anonymity and privacy.


From former Democratic Sen. Al Franken of Minnesota and former Rep. John Conyers, to conservatives like Roy Moore and Rep. Blake Farenthold (R-Texas), the atmosphere in the nation’s most important chambers seems more like a fraternity house than halls of legislation. So why haven’t we heard of these sordid accounts until now The short answer is that we have been paying to keep these acts a secret, from ourselves.

After The Washington Post confirmed on Friday that Farenthold used a little known Treasury fund that is overseen by the congressional Office of Compliance to pay an $84,000 settlement with a former aide that sued him for sexual harassment in November 2014, more information is coming to light about taxpayer money being used in settlements like Farenthold’s. According to Politico, the Office of Compliance has paid out $17 million in taxpayer money to settle 264 claims over the past 20 years.

This secret fund is not the sole method in which we the people have been stuck with the legal bills of our representatives. Conyers used his own office budget to settle his lawsuits. Conyers, 88, announced his resignation — which he emphasized is a retirement — earlier this week. He was the longest-serving member of the House of Representatives and a founding member of the Congressional Black Caucus.

We don’t know how often this method is employed as it is difficult to track.

As Congress has tried to put a Band-Aid on this black mark, Sen. Joe Crowley (D-N.Y.) alluded to a moral responsibility: “I believe that Congress should be not the gold standard but the platinum standard. We should be a beacon on a hill to say that sexual harassment or harassment of any kind is not acceptable in the workplace anywhere.”

The Ethics Committee, led by Susan Brooks (R-Ind.) and Ted Deutch (D-Fla.), put in a request to the Office of Compliance last Friday for records of any hearings or discussion pertaining to this matter. According to The Post, it is uncertain if Brooks and Deutch will make the records available to the public “or use the information to investigate lawmakers who have been accused of misconduct.”

The committee claims and promises it will review the matter.

Read more news @ DiversityInc.com

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

Latest News

Fraternity Activities Suspended at Syracuse University Following Latest Racist Incident, Investigation into Racist Graffiti Ongoing

Syracuse University has a new development in its latest string of racist incidents. On Sunday morning, the university suspended all social activities at fraternities after a group of students, including members of the fraternity Alpha Chi Rho, called a Black female student a racial slur on Saturday night. The altercation…

EY Helps Block2 Build a Blockchain-based Solution for Small and Medium Businesses to Manage Supply and Demand Across Trade Industries

Originally Published by EY Block2, an Australian start-up focused on peer-to-peer resource management, has selected EY to provide software and services to build their newly released 2Mota solution, a blockchain-based peer-to-peer marketplace to help Small to Medium Enterprises (SMEs) manage their supply chains more efficiently. EY’s OpsChain Tesseract with pre-configured,…

internal investigation Moody Ortega Diamond S. Ross DPD Dallas Police Department police custody videos overdose wheelchair City Detention Center

DPD Releases Videos of Diamond S. Ross Dying in Police Custody, Family Wants Action

The Dallas Police Department (DPD) released three separate videos on Nov. 6 that detailed the final moments of Diamond S. Ross’ life. The videos were made public almost a year after an internal investigation by the department, according to the Dallas Morning News. Ross, 34, died from a drug overdose…