Rep. Mark Meadows Has Been Reprimanded By The Home Ethics Committee

Rep. Mark Meadows Has Been Reprimanded By The House Ethics Committee

The Home Ethics Committee on Friday reprimanded Rep. Mark Meadows of North Carolina, the chair of the conservative Home Freedom Caucus, for his dealing with of sexual harassment allegations made by ladies staffers in opposition to his former chief of workers, Kenny West.

In its report, the Ethics Committee mentioned Meadows did not “take acceptable steps to make sure that his Home workplace was free from discrimination and any notion of discrimination.” The committee additionally mentioned it’ll require Meadows to reimburse the US Treasury for the “overpayment” of West’s wage, within the quantity of $40,625. A spokesperson for Meadows instructed BuzzFeed Information in an e mail Meadows can pay the quantity.

The unbiased Workplace of Congressional Ethics’ report, which was handed alongside to the Home Ethics Committee, mentioned a number of ladies staffers complained about West in October 2014. The ladies alleged he had engaged in “undesirable touching, inappropriate staring and unprofessional feedback.”

The Home Ethics Committee, which has no jurisdiction over West, decided that the ladies had been “credible and their testimony was constant.” They alleged West seemed up skirts, down shirts, and engaged in undesirable touching, sexual feedback, and inappropriate staring.

Based on the committee’s report, Meadows organized for an unbiased investigation of the allegations, which was carried out by a senior staffer from Rep. Trey Gowdy’s workplace. However as soon as it was accomplished, Meadows ignored the investigator’s suggestion to fireside West. As a substitute, he stored West in his position within the months that adopted, which meant his obligations and wage didn’t change.

Meadows, in line with the committee, put in place “restrictions” to maintain West away from feminine workers members. However they didn’t work, to the purpose {that a} member of Congress approached Meadows on the Home ground to speak concerning the problem, the report states. It wasn’t till Speaker Paul Ryan’s workplace acquired concerned in April 2015 that West was eliminated as chief of workers, however even then he was demoted to a “senior advisor” position and stored the identical wage.

The Home Ethics Committee, for its half, discovered the “restrictions” problematic, and famous in its report that an “atmosphere the place solely male workers have entry to the chief of workers dangers unequal remedy of staff based mostly solely on intercourse.”

The committee additionally acknowledged Meadows took “vital speedy steps” in proscribing West’s entry to congressional workplaces and preserving him from contacting most feminine staff, however finally concluded “he ought to have performed extra to handle that habits and stop it from occurring once more sooner or later.”

Fairly than cooperating with an investigation by the unbiased Workplace of Congressional Ethics that began in October 2015 —which Meadows known as “a expensive and burdensome course of”— Meadows wrote to the Home Ethics Committee, which is made up of his Home friends. Within the letter Meadows requested that the committee evaluation his resolution to proceed paying West within the months following his resignation, noting that the continued fee was a “severance” and that West continued to have interaction in “respectable official exercise.”

In a press release Friday, Meadows mentioned he appreciated that the Home Ethics Committee acknowledged “the speedy, acceptable, and good religion steps I did take after studying of my workers’s considerations — together with instantly separating the chief from the accusers so that they by no means needed to work together with him personally throughout the unbiased investigation.”

“Ensuring my staff feels protected and safe in our workplace is the very best precedence for me and I’m really sorry for any stress or burden this case brought on them,” Meadows added.

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