On Friday’s “CNN Newsroom,” Representative Gregory Meeks (D-NY) stated the allegations that he fired a staffer after she complained she was sexually harassed at the office of one of his major donors is “completely false.” And he doesn’t regret the staffer’s firing or the treatment she received from him or his staff.
Anchor Poppy Harlow asked Meeks, “There are documents that CNN has obtained of a settlement that was brokered through your office back in 2006 with the Office of House Employment Counsel. This is a wrongful firing case that was brought against your office because of a former staffer…Andrea Payne. She came into your office, her attorney alleges, and said, I was fired because I was sexually harassed at the office, the business location of one of your biggest donors. And the allegation here is that she was fired by you directly because she made that complaint to you. What is your response to that?”
Meeks responded, “The allegation is completely false. This had nothing to do with sexual discrimination or anything. It was a fair labor standard scenario talking about overtime payment, and it was about 2 1/2 hours of overtime that was talked about. And so, it had nothing — it was an open case and you just can pull it up.”
Harlow later asked, “Were taxpayer dollars used through the OOC, the office that regulates this through the government in this retribution settlement, though?
Meeks answered, “Well, what happened was this was in a federal court, that took place over a six-year period of time, and over a 2 1/2-hour allegation of overtime payment. My chief of staff that came to me who said we should not pay this, of course, had passed, and the cost of the tax — the American taxpayers for this case that was going on for over six years and lawyers continued to mount.”
Meeks concluded that he had no regrets over how Payne was treated by him and his staff.
Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter @IanHanchett
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