sexual-harassment

Blame game in standoff over Violence Against Women Act
Ernst says Democrats motivated by her 2020 race; Schumer calls her ‘afraid of NRA’

Iowa Republican Sen. Joni Ernst said talks with Democrats over renewing the Violence Against Women Act broke down because Democratic leaders did not want senators who are up for reelection next year like her to get legislation passed. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Iowa Republican Sen. Joni Ernst said Tuesday that Democrats trying to undermine her 2020 reelection contributed to stalled talks to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act.

Ernst had been working with Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California for months on a bipartisan reauthorization bill before both sides said the negotiations fell apart earlier this month.

Fired Capitol Police officer loses sex discrimination lawsuit
Jury finds gender was a factor, but not the only one, and rejects compensatory damages

Former U.S. Capitol Police Chief Kim Dine, right, and former Chief Matthew Verderosa testified in the gender discrimination trial. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Fired Capitol Police officer Chrisavgi Sourgoutsis’ gender was a motivating factor in her dismissal, but the force still would have terminated her, a federal jury found in rejecting her sexual discrimination lawsuit.

Tuesday’s verdict means Sourgoutsis failed to prove she would have remained on the force, but for her sex. The jury denied her bid for compensatory damages, and found she did not prove she was fired for testifying in a sexual harassment investigation into her supervisor.

Capitol Police sexual discrimination trial in the hands of jury
Department admits it ‘messed up’ procedure, but defends firing former officer

Former Chief Matthew Verderosa said at trial last week that the department had a systemic failure when it came to completing quarterly reports for new officers. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Summing up his client’s argument she was fired by the Capitol Police when a superior officer found out she talked to internal investigators about alleged sexual harassment, attorney R. Scott Oswald left the jury with a question Thursday.

Why would her assistant chief tell Chrisavgi Sourgoutsis to put disciplinary matters in the past, and that she could get back vacation time that had been frozen if she did, when the department was planning to fire her?

Former Capitol Police chief acknowledges ‘systemic failure’ in supervising new officers
Matthew Verderosa testifies in sex discrimination lawsuit against department

Former Capitol Police Chief Matthew Verderosa acknowledged a “systemic failure” when he was an assistant chief at the agency. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Former Capitol Police Chief Matthew R. Verderosa acknowledged Tuesday there was a “systemic failure” at the department to properly supervise officers on probationary status before he took the top job in 2016. 

Speaking at the sex discrimination trial brought by former Capitol Police officer Chrisavgi Sourgoutsis, who alleges she was wrongfully terminated in 2015 because of her gender, Verderosa said he was concerned she “wasn’t properly evaluated from a performance standard.”

Why Katie Hill had to go
California Democrat couldn’t stay on in a chamber that had promised to change its ways

With the new rules in place regarding relationships between lawmakers and their staff, California Rep. Katie Hill had no choice but to resign, Murphy writes. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

OPINION — There is nothing worse than watching a person you’re rooting for make a mistake. In the case of former Rep. Katie Hill, the talented newcomer made a major mistake when she engaged in a relationship with a campaign staffer leading up to the 2018 midterm elections. She was right to resign her seat last week because of it.

Hill’s mistake was not simply having an affair, especially in this case when the relationship seems to have been consensual and even something her husband was aware of and participated in. But the California Democrat’s choice to start and continue a relationship with a young staffer on her congressional campaign happened at the very time that other women on Capitol Hill were fighting to protect staffers long subjected to sexual harassment by their bosses there.

Congress responds to an Olympic cry for help with oversight hammer
Sens. Moran and Blumenthal want legislative action this fall

Olympic gold medalist Aly Raisman, a survivor of sexual abuse by Larry Nassar, here at a July 2018 press conference on Capitol Hill, is among the abuse victims seeking action to protect future athletes. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call file photo)

With less than a year before the world gathers to ignite the Olympic flame in Tokyo for the 2020 summer games, two senators are pushing legislation that would provide the most significant congressional oversight in a generation of the board governing U.S. participation.

Spurred by numerous allegations from Olympic athletes of sexual abuse, a bill by Sens. Jerry Moran, a Kansas Republican, and Richard Blumenthal, a Connecticut Democrat, would make it easier for Congress to effectively fire members of the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee, or to decertify a governing body like USA Gymnastics in response to future scandals.

Her father just pleaded guilty to raping her. But Usha Reddi hopes that won’t define her Senate bid
Kansas Democrat enters race for Pat Roberts’ open seat

Usha Reddi is running for the Democratic Senate nomination in Kansas. (Courtesy Reddi for Senate)

Usha Reddi, a Democrat who launched her Kansas Senate campaign Thursday, never meant for her experience as a survivor of sexual assault to be central to her platform.

But when her father pleaded guilty this summer to raping her when she was a child, Reddi, a city commissioner in Manhattan, Kansas, decided she should be the one to make it an issue.

Former Sen. Al Franken giving speech in Oregon in latest move to revamp public image
Minnesota Democrat has said he regrets resigning in 2018 following sexual misconduct allegations

Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., is hosting a speaking event in Portland, Oregon, in October. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Former Sen. Al Franken is hosting a speaking event in Portland, Oregon, in October where he will share stories of his time in the Senate and as a cast member of  “Saturday Night Live.”

The former Democratic-Farmer-Labor senator from Minnesota has undertaken a series of moves in recent months to reenter the public eye, including launching a podcast and corresponding YouTube channel, creating a website with a collection of his writings and thoughts on the political landscape and now hosting paid speaking events.

Former Rep. Gary Ackerman faces sexual assault allegation from the 1960s
Plaintiff sued under state’s new Child Victims Act, which lifted statute of limitations for sexual abuse cases

Former Rep. Gary Ackerman, D-N.Y., faces an allegation of sexual assault in a new lawsuit. (CQ Roll Call file photo)

A man identified in court records as “John Doe” alleges in a new lawsuit that former New York Rep. Gary Ackerman sexually abused him when he was a teenager. 

The plaintiff says Ackerman exploited him in 1966 when the former Democratic congressman was a director at Ten Mile River Scout Camp, a 12,000-acre Boy Scout reserve, according to the complaint filed in the Supreme Court of the State of New York. The suit also names the camp and the Greater New York Council of the Boy Scouts of America as defendants. 

Google under pressure from Congress, activists, shareholders
CQ on Congress, Episode 165

Google is under pressure to change its corporate culture. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images file photo)

In the face of gridlock in Congress, investors, pension funds, and some states are pushing public companies to do more to diversify their boards, combat climate change, stamp out sexual harassment and give workers a voice.

CQ Roll Call's Laura Weiss talks about what happened at Google's annual shareholder meeting where board members were confronted with protests and calls for change.