A senior adviser for Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) reportedly resigned on Wednesday evening after the Sacramento Bee “inquired about a $400,000 harassment and retaliation settlement resulting from his time working for Harris at the California Department of Justice.”
Larry Wallace, the top Harris staffer who resigned, reportedly “served as the director of the Division of Law Enforcement” at the California Department of Justice while Harris was the Golden State’s attorney general in 2016. Harris reportedly then hired Wallace to be a senior adviser in her Sacramento Senate office.
According to the Bee, Danielle Hartley, whom Wallace reportedly recruited in 2011 to be his assistant, filed the “gender harassment” lawsuit against the California Department of Justice in 2016, claiming she was “being harassed and demeaned due to her gender.”
Hartley, according to the lawsuit, reportedly accused Wallace of placing “his printer on the floor underneath his desk” and ordering her “to replace the paper or ink on a daily basis.”
When Hartley “asked to move the printer to another location so she would not have to crawl under his desk in dresses and skirts, the lawsuit states, Wallace refused.”
Wallace also reportedly ordered Hartley to crawl under his desk to put paper in his printer “while he was sitting at his desk or in front of other male executives from the division.”
Hartley also accused Wallace of making her do menial tasks and personal errands. The lawsuit reportedly states that when she would return from these assignments, her “co-workers would make hostile comments to her including, ‘Are you walking the walk of shame?’”
According to the Bee, “the lawsuit was filed on Dec. 30, 2016, when Harris was still attorney general but preparing to be sworn in as California’s newly elected Democratic senator. It was settled less than five months later, in May 2017, by Xavier Becerra, who was appointed to replace her as attorney general.”
Hartley states in the lawsuit that she eventually complained to her supervisor and promptly “began to experience retaliation.” Hartley reportedly claimed she was “‘set up to fail,” “investigated by internal affairs on a ‘fabricated charge’ for which she was never informed of the outcome,” and “told she should quit her job and seek employment elsewhere.”
According to the lawsuit, Hartley was “involuntarily transferred to another bureau” two days before Christmas 2014 and was not considered for promotion even though she “took a state exam for a new classification and scored a 95.”
Harris spokeswoman Lily Adams reportedly claimed that Harris’s team was “unaware” of Wallace’s “gender harassment” issues.
“We were unaware of this issue and take accusations of harassment extremely seriously. This evening, Mr. Wallace offered his resignation to the senator and she accepted it,” Adams reportedly said.
Harris, a likely 2020 candidate, has seen her stock rise with left-wing activists (some offshore books have her as the favorite to win her party’s nomination).
But Wallace’s resignation will complicate matters for Harris, who will face questions about Wallace and the workplace environment in which he worked, if she decides over the holidays to run for president because, as the Bee noted, she “has been a prominent figure in the #MeToo movement against workplace sexual harassment.”
Harris last year called for then-Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) to resign after multiple women accused him of sexual misconduct and “introduced a bill in June to ban forced nondisclosure agreements in harassment settlements.”
Sexual harassment and misconduct should not be allowed by anyone and should not occur anywhere. I believe the best thing for Senator Franken to do is step down.
— Kamala Harris (@SenKamalaHarris) December 6, 2017
And during Brett Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court confirmation hearings, Harris praised Christine Blasey Ford and asked Kavanaugh if he was willing to authorize an FBI investigation into the allegations made against him.
“You have bravely come forward. And I want to thank you because you clearly have nothing to gain for what you have done. You have been a true patriot in fighting for the best of who we are as a country,” Harris told Blasey Ford during the confirmation hearings. “I believe you are doing that because you love this country, and I believe history will show that you are a true profile in courage at this moment in time in the history of our country, and I thank you.”
The California Democrat later told Ohio Democrats that Kavanaugh’s confirmation was a “sham,” a “disgrace,” “an exercise of raw power,” and a “denial of justice” for sexual assault survivors.
Harris will be scrutinized like never before if she decides to run for president, and she predicted over the weekend that the 2020 presidential race is “going to be ugly.
“Let’s be honest. It’s going to be ugly,” Harris said. “When you break things, it is painful… And you get cut. And you bleed.”