DES MOINES, Iowa — The Latest on the Senate GOP’s response to a sexual harassment investigation within office (all times local):
Iowa House Speaker Linda Upmeyer says her Republican caucus will go forward with plans to hire a human resources manager to oversee harassment complaints at the Legislature, a move that diverts from Senate GOP officials.
Upmeyer made the announcement Tuesday, shortly after Senate Majority Leader Bill Dix told reporters the Senate GOP office will put such hiring on hold. Dix’s office will instead hire outside counsel for more guidance on the issue.
Senate Republican staff originally said the human resources job would be a joint position with the House. Dix later said his caucus had raised concerns about accountability.
Both caucuses publicized their plans hours after Gov. Kim Reynolds said she wanted the Senate GOP office to share any additional information from an internal investigation into alleged sexual harassment within the caucus. Dix says he still won’t release that information, citing privacy concerns.
Iowa Senate Majority Leader Bill Dix says he’s putting on hold plans to hire a human resources manager who oversees harassment complaints within his caucus, and officials will instead use outside counsel for more guidance.
Dix told reporters Tuesday he had heard concerns within his caucus about accountability surrounding the position.
Dix says his office will put out a bid for the outside services, though he didn’t answer questions about when the bidding would begin and how much it will cost. Dix says it’s possible a human resources professional could be hired if the outside counsel recommends it.
Dix held a press conference on the same day Gov. Kim Reynolds said Senate GOP officials should release information to the public about an internal investigation into alleged sexual harassment in the Senate GOP office. The investigation came after a former staffer alleged in a lawsuit that she was fired after reporting sexual harassment in the office. A jury awarded her $2.2 million. The state later agreed to drop an appeal and pay $1.75 million.
Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds says Senate GOP officials should release information to the public about an internal investigation into alleged sexual harassment in the caucus if there’s more to share.
Reynolds told reporters Tuesday the office, which is run in part by Senate Majority Bill Dix, should disclose any information not discussed during a recent trial, in which jurors sided with a former staffer who reported harassment. Jurors awarded former Senate GOP communications director Kirsten Anderson $2.2 million. The state later agreed to drop an appeal and pay Anderson $1.75 million.
Senate Republicans promised to investigate harassment issues. They announced recently their inquiry was complete, but no information would be made public due to privacy concerns.
Reynolds says there’s a way to share information and protect privacy.
A message to the Senate GOP office wasn’t immediately returned Tuesday.