The sexual related allegations that rocked the Senate had been shocking. It was surprising how many were alleged to have committed such indecency.
The situation saw many men of power resigned from their posts. What was also alarming for many people was how long it was ongoing.
A report from the Senate revealed that thousands of dollars in settlements were paid out over the years. It was also believed the report lacked all the required information and was called incomplete.
Hundreds of thousands of dollars were paid to various women and the men accused at times didn’t know.
One such person was Rep. Alcee Hastings. He was accused of sexual misconduct towards Winsome Packer.
Winsome Packer, a member of staff for Helsinki Commission claimed one of her bosses made sexual advances at her. She claimed that he said he would retaliate if she said anything to anyone.
Packer however filed charges against Hastings and continued to face threats from both him and the Director at the time.
Hastings had denied all allegations and requested that Packer not be given any money. She was eventually paid $220,000, but he didn’t know.
This all allegedly happened in 2011. Rep. Chris Smith was the one who dealt with the allegations. He said “during my Chairmanship, I worked to ensure that a woman’s claim of sexual harassment against another member of Congress was taken seriously, her voice heard, and that in the pursuit of justice all relevant facts impartially considered.”
Hastings had sent a letter to Smith and Sen. Ben Cardin which read “I strongly oppose any settlement with Ms. Packer that would involve her receiving any money or things of value,” calling her allegations “absolutely false.”
The same scandal concerning Packer was not included in the report from Congress. This raised questions and the report was deemed incomplete.
The report claimed that over $600,000 in settlements had been paid. Harassment allegations date back about 20 years ago.
When added the total would be well over $800,000. These payments all related to misconduct at the workplace.
Sen. Richard Shelby spoke about the data. He said the committee “has been eager to provide this information in a transparent manner.”
“I am pleased that we have received assurances from Senate Legal Counsel that the release of this data does not violate confidentiality and as such, are able to make it public,” Shelby said.
It was unclear why the settlement was left out of the report. News of Packer’s settlement reached the media and was released.
The cost of settlements could increase as many more Congressmen are being accused of similar actions.