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Senator Kamala Harris during her most Recent Campaign for Senate. (kamalaharris.org)
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Harris Continues to deny Knowledge Regarding DOJ Sexual Harassment Case

Attributes ‘Breakdown in the System’

By Sean Brown, December 14, 2018 11:23 am

Sticking by her original claim, Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA), is continuing to state that she had no knowledge of discrimination or sexual harassment that took place between her longtime aid Larry Wallace and another woman while working at the California Department of Justice.

The misconduct claim, filed only three months before Harris left her post as Attorney General at the Department and first broke last week, has now developed into quite the conundrum for the Democrat who has recently attempted to champion women’s rights while also toying with a presidential run.

Furthermore, the lawsuit by Wallace’s former executive assistant which was filed against the Department, was eventually settled for $400,000, just days before Harris was sworn into the U.S. Senate.

Harris recently told the Sac Bee that “she took ‘full responsibility for what happened in my office.’ She said she was ‘frustrated’ that she hadn’t been briefed on the complaint against Wallace, which she considered a ‘breakdown’ in the system,” but she did not allude to any at-the-time awareness.

She also said, “That’s what makes me upset about this. 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.”

Despite the lawsuit settling in May 2017, two months after Harris hired Wallace as a senior adviser in her Sacramento field office and right before her departure, the Equal Employment Rights and Resolution Office (EER&R), showed that the department was first notified of Wallace’s accuser and her intent to pursue legal action back in October of 2016.

Although 7 months passed before any disciplinary action was taken, Wallace resigned last week and it should be noted that the settlement was reached by Harris’ replacement and current attorney general, Xavier Becerra.

Still, the Department of Justice has yet to explain what happened with the October EER&R complaint regarding the victim’s right to seek legal action. The fact that there were no details regarding who was notified about it, or if there was any internal investigation, is perhaps the most troubling aspect of the case.

Sean Brown

Before becoming a writer for the California Globe, Sean served as a Legislative Director in the New York City Council and is an NYU alumnus.
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