NY IG finds that Committee on Open Government head preyed on women
Nov 15, 2019 12:30 pm
Robert Gavin is reporting for the Times Union New York state Inspector General Letizia Tagliafierro November 14, released the results of her office’s investigation of Robert Freeman, the former executive director of the state Committee on Open Government. That investigation found that Freeman "subjected at least 14 women to sexual harassment or inappropriate conduct dating back to at least 2003 in an egregious pattern of lechery" that stopped only after a target of that harassment told investigators Freeman had subjected her to unwanted physical contact. Freeman, 72, an attorney, was fired by the Department of State in June, after serving in state government since 1974. He was a longtime resource for news reporters and an acknowledged expert on the state’s Freedom of Information Law. The report released Thursday revealed a pattern of conduct in which Freeman crossed the line with women he subjected to unwanted kissing and touching, leers and inappropriate conversations. “Given the stature Freeman attained during his tenure as executive director, his role as the sole authority on government transparency, and the power dynamic he repeatedly promoted, many of the women who spoke with the inspector general said they believed it would be futile to report his misconduct,” the report stated. Freeman was also found to have sexually explicit images of women on his work computer, the report said. It noted that twice a year, the software on his work computer would need to be reinstalled because of viruses and malicious software. The report criticized the state Office of Information Technology Services, which is responsible for the Committee on Open Government’s computer systems. Read the full story in the Times Union.