A woman who alleged sexual harassment by a top aide of then-Attorney General Kamala Harris notified the department of her intent to sue months before the senator left the office.
The Sacramento Bee originally reported that the accusation and lawsuit were leveled against Larry Wallace in December of 2016. Wallace was not only a top aide but one of Harris’ closest professional confidantes.
The complaint involved “gender harassment” toward his former executive assistant and allegations that he forced her into “demeaning behavior.” The case ultimately led to a $400,000 settlement which, when reported little more than a week ago, led to Wallace’ resignation.
Harris, a contender to the Democratic nomination for president in 2020 based largely on her advocacy for the #MeToo movement, feigned ignorance. Her spokeswoman issued a statement saying the senator was “unaware of this issue and take(s) accusations of harassment extremely seriously.”
Her Department Was Notified Months Earlier
Harris continued arguing that she was unaware of the allegations and seemed frustrated at her lack of knowledge on the matter.
“There’s no question I should have been informed about this. There’s no question. And there were ample opportunities when I could have been informed,” she told the newspaper last week.
The Bee, however, now contends that a notice of intent to sue was filed with the California Department of Justice three months before Harris departed, casting serious doubt that the AG had no idea her top aide’s behavior could lead to a significant lawsuit.
An intake form from the Equal Employment Rights and Resolution Office, which oversees discrimination investigations and compliance at the Department of Justice, shows that the department was firstnotified on Oct. 3, 2016, of Danielle Hartley’s intent to pursue legal action.
An intake analyst for Harris’ department wrote that “no action is required by the Department” upon receiving the complaint.
The Bee reports that what happened after that is anybody’s guess, as the “Department of Justice declined to comment on what happened with the EER&R complaint regarding Hartley’s right to sue, who was notified about it, and whether an internal investigation was launched.”
Misconduct claim involving Kamala Harris aide came to agency months before she left office https://t.co/ovECRXSX44
— Joe Perticone (@JoePerticone) December 14, 2018
Did Democrats Not Believe This Woman?
It’s our understanding, based on the Kavanaugh hearings, that all women need to be listened to and believed regardless of the circumstances.
Why was Hartley ignored by Harris and her department? Just this Thursday, the presidential hopeful tweeted about how women should be afforded dignity, respect, and must be listened to. Why did she not listen to her own advice when it came to a woman accusing her own aide?
All women in our healthcare system must be given dignity. They must be listened to. They must be taken seriously. They must be given respect. When they tell you what they need, listen. They know what they need when they tell you. Hear them.
— Kamala Harris (@KamalaHarris) December 14, 2018
The allegations against Wallace included claims by Hartley that he purposely placed his printer under his desk so she would be forced, on a daily basis, to change the paper by crawling underneath in front of other male executives.
“When she asked to move the printer to another location so she would not have to crawl under his desk in dresses and skirts,” the lawsuit stated.
Where were you when she was seeking dignity and respect, Ms. Harris?
Filing a notice to pursue legal action at the DOJ while specifically naming the accuser as a top aide to the AG makes it highly unlikely that Harris knew nothing about the matter.
These new reports show that Harris can’t simply hide behind statements that she wasn’t informed of the matter. The question remains, will it kill her chances of running in 2020? Will she be able to run as a champion for all women?
Read more at the Political Insider