Iowa Senate Republicans to release document on harassment

Dix and Senate GOP officials have been under scrutiny over their handling of an in-house investigation into alleged sexual harassment in the office.

Posted: Nov 21, 2017 2:46 PM
Updated: Nov 21, 2017 2:48 PM

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Top Iowa Senate Republicans announced Tuesday they will release a document related to an internal investigation into alleged sexual harassment in their caucus, following pressure from within the party to make the findings public.
Senate Majority Leader Bill Dix said in a press release he will provide, by the end of the week, an "internal review document" related to the investigation. Additional details about what would be included in the document were not provided.
Dix and Senate GOP officials have been under scrutiny over their handling of an in-house investigation into alleged sexual harassment in the office. The allegations were raised by a former staffer for the caucus, Kirsten Anderson, who said she was fired in 2013 after reporting sexual harassment. A trial earlier this year led a jury to award Anderson $2.2 million. The state settled the case for $1.75 million.
Dix maintains Anderson was fired for poor work performance, but he's recently said he believes her testimony about harassment in the office.
GOP Gov. Kim Reynolds and House Speaker Linda Upmeyer, also a Republican, had called on Dix and his office to release more information about the investigation. Dix had previously refused, claiming that doing so would raise privacy concerns for staff employees.
The shift over sharing some findings from the investigation came on the same day Dix and GOP Senate President Jack Whitver announced they will bring in a former Republican state lawmaker with experience in human resources to help advise them on "workplace culture" following the allegations.
The announcement that Mary Kramer will assist the Senate GOP office did not elaborate on the scope of her work and how it will be carried out.
Dix applauded Kramer's previous work in human resources as part of his announcement. That experience includes serving as corporate personnel director for the Younkers department store chain and vice president of human resources for insurance company Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield.
Kramer was in the Iowa Senate from 1990 to 2003 and became Senate president in 1997. She later served as U.S. ambassador to Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean. Dix described Kramer's new job as an appointment being filled in a "voluntary capacity."
"She has graciously agreed to assist the Senate as we work to make important improvements to the employment culture," he said in a statement.
Kramer said in a statement Dix invited her to take on the role, adding "as a result of my conversations with him, I am convinced he is sincerely committed to ensuring that employees of the Iowa Senate work in a safe and healthy environment."
A Senate GOP official did not respond to multiple messages after the announcement. It's unclear whether the office still plans to hire an outside counsel to assist the office or if Kramer's involvement concludes that search. Dix told reporters earlier this month he would seek outside counsel to review the issue and it would involve a bidding process.
After the trial, Dix and his top staff said it would launch an investigation into the allegations made. Separately, a staffer accused of harassment during the trial resigned in September. Dix has refused to explain why the staffer resigned.
Earlier this month, the Senate GOP office confirmed its investigation was being conducted internally without outside assistance. They also confirmed it was completed but no additional information would be released to the public amid privacy concerns for office employees.
In his press release Tuesday, Dix also said his office would work with House leadership again to hire a joint human resources manager to oversee harassment complaints. That plan had been put on hold amid concerns raised by Dix's staff about the position.
It's unclear if Kramer's work will impact Democrats in the chamber. Sen. Janet Petersen, a Des Moines Democrat and minority leader for her caucus, said she and others learned of the appointment through the media. She said in a statement "it is hard to assess whether this will make the Legislature a safe and welcoming environment for all employees, whether Iowa taxpayers will be protected in the future, and whether the Legislature will take steps necessary to protect the rights of those who raise concerns about harassment."
Reynolds applauded Kramer's involvement during a press conference shortly after the announcement. Brenna Smith, her press secretary, later declined to comment on Petersen's criticism. A Senate GOP spokesman also did not respond.

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 895229

Reported Deaths: 9462
CountyCasesDeaths
Hennepin1749772017
Ramsey722701040
Dakota66032572
Anoka62513568
Washington39357355
Stearns32821275
St. Louis28761399
Wright25354211
Scott25329181
Olmsted21750127
Sherburne18478126
Carver1629166
Clay11923103
Blue Earth1126366
Rice11234138
Crow Wing11003122
Chisago974676
Kandiyohi9660106
Otter Tail9611126
Benton8815124
Beltrami801794
Goodhue786596
Douglas7689100
Itasca752796
Mower721349
Winona702756
McLeod694483
Isanti681383
Steele669431
Morrison663479
Becker620873
Polk591684
Freeborn550846
Carlton529474
Nobles521654
Lyon518761
Mille Lacs516573
Nicollet510960
Pine500641
Cass491252
Todd483642
Brown465057
Le Sueur445933
Meeker422357
Martin378143
Wabasha366010
Waseca365132
Dodge351511
Hubbard349848
Roseau307931
Fillmore299115
Wadena298239
Redwood277845
Houston266817
Renville264151
Faribault253032
Pennington247529
Sibley246917
Kanabec241536
Cottonwood225032
Chippewa216342
Aitkin215850
Pope203210
Watonwan194920
Yellow Medicine185423
Rock174728
Swift169322
Koochiching168123
Stevens164511
Jackson159216
Clearwater155720
Marshall151122
Murray150911
Pipestone148329
Lake129824
Lac qui Parle120025
Wilkin119416
Mahnomen104714
Norman10389
Grant9719
Big Stone9365
Lincoln8705
Kittson71523
Red Lake70710
Traverse5996
Unassigned572124
Lake of the Woods5235
Cook3020

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 516453

Reported Deaths: 7289
CountyCasesDeaths
Polk80319799
Linn32142424
Scott26637292
Black Hawk21974378
Woodbury20490258
Johnson19778105
Dubuque18515241
Pottawattamie15890213
Dallas15320113
Story1380258
Warren8450104
Cerro Gordo7964123
Clinton7725114
Webster7326122
Des Moines7098105
Marshall669093
Muscatine6645117
Wapello6441144
Jasper619591
Sioux610177
Lee5908105
Marion557897
Buena Vista502149
Plymouth488388
Henry418655
Benton404859
Jones404862
Bremer395372
Washington391463
Boone389739
Carroll367755
Mahaska365365
Crawford353747
Dickinson314655
Jackson307747
Buchanan305741
Clay295536
Delaware294654
Kossuth289077
Fayette286353
Hardin284353
Tama279777
Page272533
Wright266149
Cedar265527
Hamilton259857
Winneshiek258143
Floyd255449
Clayton244459
Poweshiek237243
Madison234525
Harrison234379
Cass233466
Butler232744
Iowa229634
Jefferson223043
Mills220930
Winnebago215938
Hancock214639
Cherokee211347
Lyon206142
Appanoose205357
Allamakee203955
Calhoun196919
Shelby196442
Union191141
Humboldt185130
Grundy183637
Franklin183029
Mitchell182043
Chickasaw178922
Emmet178246
Louisa176953
Sac171026
Guthrie168137
Montgomery161745
Clarke160829
Keokuk150839
Palo Alto150532
Howard146824
Monroe142739
Ida130141
Greene127517
Davis124625
Lucas124426
Monona122939
Worth12139
Pocahontas120724
Adair114337
Osceola104818
Decatur101913
Taylor98514
Fremont95913
Van Buren93222
Wayne84525
Ringgold76729
Audubon74917
Adams5748
Unassigned480
Rochester
Clear
31° wxIcon
Hi: 40° Lo: 27°
Feels Like: 21°
Mason City
Clear
31° wxIcon
Hi: 50° Lo: 27°
Feels Like: 20°
Albert Lea
Partly Cloudy
28° wxIcon
Hi: 45° Lo: 28°
Feels Like: 20°
Austin
Partly Cloudy
30° wxIcon
Hi: 45° Lo: 29°
Feels Like: 21°
Charles City
Partly Cloudy
30° wxIcon
Hi: 52° Lo: 28°
Feels Like: 21°
Mild heading into the weekend
KIMT Radar
KIMT Eye in the sky

Latest Video

Image

Small Business Saturday

Image

L-O wins it all and PEM comes up short

Image

Snow tubing hill opens

Image

RFD high school program

Image

High School Firefighting program

Image

Overheated HVAC unit

Image

Full Forecast 10 PM 11/27/21

Image

Full Forecast 6PM 11/27/21

Image

Small Business Saturday Preview

Image

Here comes Santa Claus

Community Events