I’ve the opportunity to ask a member of the Senate and a member of the House, who is more important to most members of Congress and in both cases, I was told that donors are the most important and that over half of the time spent in Congress is wooing donors and raising money for the party and their own campaigns.
That’s evidently the case with Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-NY). It has been discovered that one of his staffers had been at a function at a business of one of his big donors and reported that the donor had sexually assaulted her. Meeks reaction was to fire the staffer, who then filed a wrongful termination lawsuit that was settled by Meeks and paid out of the congressional hush fund.
(The Daily Caller) – The Office of House Employment Counsel brokered a settlement in 2006 over allegations that Rep. Gregory Meeks fired a staffer in retaliation for reporting that she was sexually assaulted at a business tied to a campaign contributor, The Daily Caller News Foundation has learned.
The long-running lawsuit dealt with how the Office of House Employment Counsel (HEOC) was set up to offer limited protections to Capitol Hill staffers who suffered from harassment, and the New York Democrat argued the law established that the office should be financially liable in the suit and not him.
The HEOC uses taxpayer money to pay out financial settlements to resolve allegations of sexual abuse, discrimination and other workplace violations by members. It also binds the victims with tight secrecy clauses.
Andrea Payne, then a congressional aide in Meeks’ Queens office, filed a complaint with the Office of Compliance, and Meeks fired her weeks later. He admitted that the cause of her termination did not have to do with the quality of Payne’s work.
“This is an action to recover for damages sustained by plaintiff when Representative Meeks violated her Constitutional rights by retaliating against her, and ultimately terminating her employment, because of her sexual assault lawsuit,” Payne’s attorneys wrote…
In light of the current ‘me too’ craze going around and finding out that taxpayers paid out over $17 million since 1995 to settle over 600 lawsuits against members of Congress for various reasons, that a special investigation should be made on each and every settlement case to see just who paid hush money over lawsuits dealing with sexual misconduct including wrongful termination stemming from sexual allegations. The public should have the right to know how their tax dollars have been spent.