Democratic Florida Rep. Alcee Hastings has used $220,000 of taxpayer money to settle sexual harassment accusations, according to a new report.
In fact, a settlement in 2014 was approved by the Office of Compliance when a former congressional staff member accused Hastings of misconduct; making sexual advances as well as threatening her job.
Winsome Packer told Roll Call that she was “blackballed” after the incident.
“As an immigrant who came here with all these ideals, it is like someone just removed all the foundations that I stood on in this country for all these years,” she said. Packer was born in Jamaica, according to Roll Call.
Hastings, who has served in Congress since 1993, is the latest congressman to be caught up in a sexual harassment scandal.
Democratic Michigan Rep. John Conyers resigned on Tuesday following a flood of sexual harassment allegations against him. Sworn affidavits signed by four of Conyers’ former staffer describe him as a sexual predator who demanded sexual favors from his female staffers and abused taxpayer resources.
After one former female staffer accused Conyers of firing her in retaliation for refusing his sexual advances, Conyers paid off the woman with $27,000 in taxpayer funds in exchange for her silence.
Taxpayers also footed the bill after Republican Texas Rep. Blake Farenthold settled a sexual harassment suit with a former female staffer for $84,000. Farenthold and his current chief of staff reportedly directed a stream of lewd comments at the female staffer, who said the congressman fired her when she complained. Farenthold, who has denied wrongdoing, pledged to repay taxpayers for the settlement.