Iowans left in the dark on Senate GOP sexual harassment investigation

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Iowa Senate Republican leaders have never acknowledged that Kirsten Anderson faced sexual harassment, discrimination, and retaliation while working for the Senate GOP caucus.

They have stuck to the unconvincing story that Anderson lost her job (hours after she had submitted a written complaint about a hostile work environment) solely because of her writing skills.

They didn’t allow an independent investigation of the allegations Anderson raised in a lawsuit, which a Polk County jury unanimously found credible.

They aren’t releasing any findings from an internal investigation of those allegations.

They have ensured that the legislature’s new human resources director will report to Republican political appointees.

Yet they want us to take their word for it that harassment at the statehouse will not be tolerated.

Barbara Rodriguez was first to report that Iowa House and Senate leaders “plan to hire a director of human resources before the legislative session begins in January.” From her November 9 story for the Associated Press on November 9,

The new position will be a resource to lawmakers as well as nonpartisan and partisan staffs, according to a job description. The same description does not directly reference sexual harassment issues, though it notes the director will “train managers to supervise employees in compliance with state and federal laws and applicable policies and procedures, including anti-discrimination and anti-harassment policies and procedures.” […]

The hiring decision is being made within the chambers and does not involve an independent state agency. In August, Dix, a Shell Rock Republican, said in a statement his office would consider entering a “contractual relationship” with the Iowa Department of Administrative Services to provide human resources to staff. […]

It was a joint decision between DAS and legislative leadership for the state agency not to get involved in the hiring, Senate GOP officials said. A

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