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Nadeau Statement on Today’s Hearing on Sexual Harassment in District Government

Councilmember Brianne K. Nadeau, Ward 1, issued the following statement regarding today’s hearing of the Committee on Executive Administration and Labor regarding District government’s sexual harassment policies and procedures.

“I am glad that there is finally movement on multiple fronts to address the need for the safety and dignity of D.C. government employees. From the first news of the disturbing allegations and the inadequate initial response, this has been about integrity and trust. District government employees have a right to work in a safe environment and to know that when allegations are made, they will be taken seriously and handled with integrity.

“Councilmember Bonds’ hearing is a valuable examination of practices and policies; a contract will soon be awarded for an independent investigation of the internal review of the former Deputy Mayor of Planning and Economic Development; the Mayor issued a long-awaited order on sexual harassment in the workplace; and my proposed legislation to require independent investigations when top administration officials are the subject of a sexual harassment complaint is moving forward.

“In more detail:

“The Office of the Inspector General has issued a third RFP, which closes today, which should finally allow implementation of my legislation, passed in July, requiring a third-party review of the internal investigation into the alleged incidents involving the former Deputy Mayor of Planning and Economic Development.

“The Mayor’s order on sexual harassment policy provides clear guidance regarding workplace relationships and definitions of sexual harassment and requires more frequent training. It also includes provisions similar to the legislation I introduced to require independent investigations when there are allegations against top administration officials. My legislation will go to a public hearing before my Committee on Public Works and Operations on Dec. 6. It is still important that we pass legislation because an executive order can be revoked or updated by the current or a future Mayor at any time, while legislation would set the practices in law.”

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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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