Democratic Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand on Monday defended her office’s investigation of a sexual harassment claim from last summer.
“We investigated claims of sexual harassment and derogatory comments,” Gillibrand said on the steps of the Capitol. (RELATED: Gillibrand Makes Her First Political Flip-Flop Since Announcing Presidential Run)
“We interviewed all current employees that had relevant information. We were able to substantiate derogatory comments and did not able to substantiate the sexual harassment, the sexual harassment claims did not rise to the level of sexual harassment. I told this employee at the time that she was loved, that we loved her. I deeply valued her, which is why we took her allegations immediately, investigated them immediately, and did a professional and thorough investigation.”
Politico reported that an aide in Gillibrand’s office raised a sexual harassment complaint with the Senator’s chief of staff in July, and made a separate complaint three weeks later when the accused staffer reportedly retaliated in response to the first complaint. The aide then resigned. (RELATED: Gillibrand’s Office Hit With Sexual Allegations, Aide Resigns In Protest)
“Your office chose to go against your public belief that women shouldn’t accept sexual harassment in any form and portrayed my experience as a misinterpretation instead of what it actually was: harassment and ultimately, intimidation,” the aide said in a letter sent to Gillibrand.
Gillibrand’s office reported that the staffer accused in the complaints has since been fired, but he was still employed at the time the aide resigned.