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Rep. Hastings OCE Report

Rep. Hastings OCE Report

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Published by Charles D. Ellison

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Published by: Charles D. Ellison on Jan 11, 2012
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01/11/2012

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CONFIDENTIAL
-----------_
....
_
......
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_._._-
Subject to the Nondisclosure Provisions
ofR
Res.
895
of
the 110th Congress
as
AmendedOFFICE OF CONGRESSIONAL ETHICSUNITED STATES HOUSE
OF
REPRESENTATIVES
REPORT
Review No. 11-6736The Board
of
the Office
of
Congressional Ethics,
by
a vote
of
no less than four members, onSeptember
27,2011,
adopted the following repoti and ordered it to be transmitted to theCommittee
on
Ethics
of
the United States House
of
Representatives.SUBJECT: Representative Alcee HastingsNATURE
OF
THE
ALLEGED VIOLATION:
On
March
7,2011,
Witness 1 filed anemployment discrimination lawsuit against the United States Commission
on
Security andCooperation in Europe ("Helsinki Commission"), Representative Alcee Hastings, and HelsinkiCommission Staff Director, Fred Turner. The suit alleged that fi'om January 2008 throughFebruary 2010, while employed at the Helsinki Commission, Wihless 1 endured unwelcomesexual advances, sexual comments, and unwelcome touching
by
Representative Hastings.Witness 1 alleged that she repeatedly complained about the conduct to the Helsinki Conmnssionand Mr. Turner, and that Representative Hastings and Mr. Turner affected the conditions
of
heremployment because she objected to Representative Hastings' conduct.
If
Representative Hastings engaged in the conduct described above, he may have violated Houserules, standards
of
conduct, and federal law.RECOMMENDATION: The Board
of
the Office
of
Congressional Ethics recommends that theComnnttee
on
Ethics further review the above allegations because there is probable cause tobelieve that Representative Hastings violated House rules, standards
of
conduct, and federal lawas a result
of
his interactions with Witness
1.
VOTES IN
THE
AFFIRMATIVE: 5VOTES IN
THE
NEGATIVE: 1ABSTENTIONS: 0MEMBER OF
THE
BOARD
OR
STAFF DESIGNATED TO PRESENT THIS REPORT TO
THE
COMMITTEE
ON
ETHICS: Omar
S.
Ashmawy, Staff Director
&
ClnefCounsel.
1
 
CONFIDENTIAL
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.
Subject
to
the Nondisclosure Provisions
ofH.
Res.
895
of the
11 Oth
Congress
as
AmendedOFFICE
OF
CONGRESSIONAL ETHICSUNITED STATES HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVESFINDINGS
OFFACT
AND CITATIONS
TO LAW
Review No. 11·6736
TABLE OF
CONTENTS
I.
INTRODUCTION .............................................................................................................. 3
A.
Summary
of
Allegations .................................................................................................. 3
B.
Jurisdictional Statement ................................................................................................... 4
C.
Procedural History ........................................................................................................... 5
D.
Summary
of
Investigative Activity .................................................................................. 5
II.
REPRESENTATIVE
HASTINGS'
ALLEGED
SEXUAL HARASSMENT
OF
WITNESS 1 ......................................................................................................................... 7
A.
Laws, Regulations, Rules, and Standards
of
Conduct ..................................................... 7
B.
Representative Hastings' Contact with Witness I in 2007 .............................................. 8
C.
Representative Hastings' Contact with Witness I in 2008 ............................................
10
D.
Representative Hastings' Contact with Witness I in 2009 ............................................ 24
E.
Representative Hastings' Contact with Witness I in 2010 ............................................ 29
F.
Administrative and Judicial Proceedings Regarding Witness
I's
Allegations .............. 37
III.
WITNESS
I'S
2009 CAMPAIGN CONTRIBUTION
TO
REPRESENTATIVEHASTINGS' CAMPAIGN
COMMITTEE
.................................................................... 38IV. CONCLUSION ................................................................................................................. 39V.
INFORMATIONTHEOCE
WAS UNABLE
TO
OBTAIN ANDRECOMMENDATIONS
FOR
THE
ISSUANCE
OF
SUBPOENAS ......................... 39
2
 
CONFIDENTIALOFFICE OF CONGRESSIONAL ETHICSUNITED STATES HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
FINDINGS OF FACT AND CITATIONS TO
LAW
Review No. 11-6736
On
September 27, 2011, the Board
of
the Office
of
Congressional Ethics (the "Board") adoptedthe following findings
of
fact and accompanying citations to law, regulations, lUles, andstandards
of
conduct
(in italics).
The Board notes that these findings do not constitute a detelmination that a violation actuallyoccurred.
I.
INTRODUCTIONA. Summary
of
Allegations
1.
On
March 7, 2011, Witness 1 filed an employment discrimination lawsuit against theUnited States Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe ("HelsinkiCommission"), Representative Alcee Hastings, and Helsinki CormTllssion
Staff
Director,Fred Turner.
The
suit alleges that from JanualY 2008 through FeblUalY 2010, whileemployed at the Helsinki Commission, Witness
1
endured unwelcome sexual advances,sexual cOlmnents, and unwelcome touching
by
Representative Hastings. Witness
1
alleged that she repeatedly complained about the conduct to the Helsinki Commissionand Mr. Tumer, and that Representative Hastings and Mr. Turner affected the conditions
of
her
employment because she objected to Representative Hastings' conduct.
If
Representative Hastings engaged in the conduct described above,
he
may
have violatedHouse lUles, standards
of
conduct, and federal law.
2.
In
this matter, the Board was mindful
of
both the conduct
of
Witness
1
in
makingcontemporaneous complaints and repOlis
of
unwelcome sexual advances, inappropriatebehavior, and retaliation during the two-year period
of
alleged sexual harassment
by
Representative Hastings, and
of
Representative Hastings' denials
of
haTassment, even ashe admitted to other factual allegations. Because all
but
one
of
the Helsinki
COll1l11ission
staff members who might have witnessed the interactions between Witness
1
andRepresentative Hastings refused to cooperate with the
OCE's
review
in
this matter, nothird party witness testimony was available to directly rebut or confirm any
of
Witness
l's
allegations with first-hand observations. Thus, most
of
the infOlmation obtained
by
the
OCE
was testimonial evidence from Representative Hastings and Witness
1.
Their3

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