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Gillibrand aide resigns over handling of sexual harassment claim

Mar 11, 2019 2:00 pm
Molly Olmstead is reporting for Slate New York U.S. Senator and 2020 presidential candidate Kirsten Gillibrand is facing accusations that her office effectively neglected to investigate an accusation of sexual harassment by a male aide. During her Senate career, Gillibrand has been a strong advocate for reforms to fight sexual misconduct in Congress and the military. According to a story reported by Politico, Mar. 11, a female aide resigned, accusing Gillibrand's office of failing to investigate and punish the more senior male aide in an appropriate way. The aide, an unnamed woman in her mid-20s, said she was repeatedly harassed by Abbas Malik, a staffer with a close personal relationship to Gillibrand. The accuser alleged that Malik made repeated sexually suggestive comments, as well as misogynistic and sometimes cruel comments about his female colleaugues and job applicants. Following an internal investigation by Gillibrand's office, Malik was demoted, but not fired, according to Politico. After Politico reached Gillibrand’s office for comment, Malik was fired. Gillibrand's office said it took the claims seriously, consulted with Senate lawyers, and punished the man for inappropriate comments by revoking a planned promotion. The woman said she was told her allegations amounted to a “misinterpretation” and that the case came down to a “he said, she said” situation. Gillibrand said in a statement that her office had handled the claim appropriately. Read the full story in Slate.
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