There’s a reason the American people don’t trust politicians. Here’s exhibit A…
From ABC News:
The Congressional Office of Compliance secretly paid close to $100,000 in taxpayer funds to settle sexual harassment claims from at least two young male staffers who worked for disgraced former Congressman Eric Massa, multiple sources with direct knowledge of the matter told ABC News.
The claims were settled after Massa, a Democrat from upstate New York, resigned in 2010 amid a pending ethics investigation into allegations he groped and sexually harassed members of his staff.
“This is exactly why there should be transparency,” said Rep. Kathleen Rice, D-N.Y., who blasted the payouts in an interview with ABC News. Rice, who is co-sponsoring legislation that would remove secrecy from the payouts, added, “There is no reason why these settlements, these accusations should be done in secret once they’re adjudicated.”
When asked for comment on the specific settlements paid to Massa’s staffers, a spokesman for the Office of Compliance would neither confirm nor deny any of the terms, saying they are required by law to keep those records secret.
More from New York Daily News:
Since 1995, the Compliance Office has been able to take taxpayer dollars from the Treasury Department to settle harassment claims against Congress members.
California Rep. Jacki Speier, who first flagged the $17 million figure earlier this month, has spearheaded an effort to overhaul the Compliance Office’s policy.
Earlier this week, Speier and a bipartisan coalition of House members introduced a bill that would require Congress to divulge the names of representatives whose sexual harassment cases are settled by the Compliance Office.
The shadowy operations of the Compliance Office have come under particular scrutiny in light of the recent avalanche of sexual harassment accusations against male politicians.
Congress is out of control wasting America’s cash on personal business. Drain the swamp means something now more than ever. Talk about disgraceful!