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Nadeau Statement on Independent Investigative Report

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Councilmember Brianne K. Nadeau released the following statement after receiving the independent investigative report Friday afternoon from the Office of the Inspector General into the allegations against the former deputy mayor and into workplace cu­lture.

Today the Council received a lengthy, unredacted report, which I will be reviewing thoroughly over the weekend. In the coming days I’ll be consulting with legal advisors about which aspects of the report might be released to the public.

I introduced the legislation that required this independent investigation so that District government employees, residents, and the Council could trust that the review was thorough and impartial. 

From the first news of the complaints against the former deputy mayor, I said that it was not OK for the only investigation of the Mayor’s top aide to be made by an office that reports to the Mayor. 

The 36,000 employees of District government must trust that their allegations will be taken seriously, and that an investigation will not be influenced by internal or external politics or the appearance of politics or by the power wielded by the person being accused. 

No employee should feel unsafe in their workplace. No employee should be subject to sexual harassment, especially by those in positions of authority and influence. No employee should fear retribution – or, just as bad, inaction – for coming forward. 

This is why I also introduced legislation to require that when sexual harassment allegations are made against executive branch employees in top-level positions of power – those who are appointed by the Mayor – those allegations will be investigated by a third party outside of District government. The goal is to minimize the risk of intended or unintended bias and even the perception of it. 

I am pleased that the Mayor made revisions to her internal sexual harassment policy last year, many of them aligned with the provisions of the bill that I introduced. My legislation will come for a vote later this year and would make those and other provisions permanent. 

While this took longer than any of us had originally expected, I am pleased that we have a report that I hope will allow us to understand more about the working climate that allowed the alleged incidents to occur, the investigative process, and what changes must be made. 

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Related

Last week, the Committee on Public Works & Operations, which I chair, convened a hearing to identify missteps in the initial investigation of allegations of sexual harassment against Mayor Bowser’s former chief of staff and deputy mayor for planning and economic development and ensure that the DC government improves going forward.

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