CNN, The Washington Post and The New York Times have ignored sexual harassment allegations against Democratic Florida Rep. Alcee Hastings, whose alleged sexual harassment of a staffer resulted in a $220,000 taxpayer-funded settlement in 2014.
The three outlets have yet to report on the massive settlement to Hastings’ accuser, former committee staffer Winsome Packer, which Roll Call first revealed a week ago on December 8. Packer accused Hastings of making sexual advances, touching her legs and threatening her job. The former staffer said she was “blackballed” for speaking out.
Hastings claimed that he was unaware of the settlement and called the sexual harassment allegations “ludicrous” on Friday.
Two Florida Democrats, Rep. Frederica Wilson and Rep. Lois Frankel, have said they are standing by Hastings, who was cleared by an ethics committee investigation in 2014. Democratic New York Rep. Kathleen Rice previously said that ethics committee investigations are not “real” accountability.
Other Democrats have been able to avoid talking about Hastings’ allegations, thanks to a lack of interest from news organizations like WaPo, the NYT and CNN.
Hastings is one of four congressmen (including three Democrats) who have indicated that they will remain in Congress, despite allegations that they engaged in or covered up sexual harassment or assault. (RELATED: Congress Paid Out $100K Of Taxpayer Money To Settle Male Staffers’ Harassment Claims Against Disgraced Democrat)
Democratic New York Rep. Gregory Meeks has similarly avoided scrutiny from the establishment media after The Daily Caller revealed that he allegedly fired a staffer in retaliation after she reported being sexually assaulted at a campaign donor’s business.
Meeks fired the staffer just weeks after she filed a complaint with the Office of Compliance. Meeks admitted that Payne’s firing was unrelated to the quality of her work, according to her lawsuit. The staffer, Andrea Payne, settled with Congress in 2006 after suing over her firing.
CNN, The Washington Post and The New York Times have yet to report on that settlement as well.