One of Kamala Harris’ top aides, Larry Wallace, resigned on Wednesday after news of a $400G May 2017 sexual harassment case settlement became public.
Larry Wallace had been one of Harris’ top advisors. This lawsuit occurred while he served as the director of the Division of Law Enforcement at the California Department of Justice under then-Attorney General Harris. The lawsuit was filed in December 2016 by Wallace’s former assistant, Danielle Hartley, who accused him of “gender harassment” and other demeaning behavior.
The Sacramento Bee reports that Wallace insisted on keeping his printer under his desk, which required Hartley to crawl beneath the desk to retrieve documents and add paper and ink. He refused her suggestions to place the printer elsewhere. “Wallace frequently asked Hartley to put paper in the printer while he was sitting at his desk or in front of other male executives from the division, according to the lawsuit.”
Hartley also complained in the lawsuit that Wallace took away her “meaningful tasks” and put her in charge of running personal errands instead, including booking flights for Wallace’s children and washing and performing maintenance on his car. When she would return from these assignments, the lawsuit states, “co-workers would make hostile comments to her including, ‘Are you walking the walk of shame?’”
Hartley informed her supervisor, Shannon Patterson, of Wallace’s behavior. After Patterson spoke to Wallace about the matter, Hartley began to experience “retaliation.” “The lawsuit describes that Hartley was “set up to fail,” micro-managed by Patterson, 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 within the Department of Justice. She then began to search for a job outside the department, according to the lawsuit, but she was ultimately unsuccessful because the “stress from all of the harassment” took a toll on her physical and mental health.”
Twice, the lawsuit states, Hartley took a state exam for a new classification and scored a 95, but she was not considered either time for the promotion.
Hartley said in the lawsuit that she began suffering from panic attacks and depression, and that in March 2016, she developed a pinched nerve in her arm that required surgery. She had the surgery in September, according to the lawsuit, around which time she also filed a complaint with the Department of Fair Employment and Housing. When she sued two months later, Hartley was still out on medical leave because the Department of Justice has “chosen to not accommodate her.”
The Sacramento Bee contacted Sen. Harris’ office for comment on Wednesday and spokeswoman Lily Adams said: “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.”
It’s difficult to believe that Harris was unaware of the lawsuit and the subsequent settlement. And it’s especially rich given her strong support of the #MeToo movement. She was extremely vocal in her calls for Al Franken to resign in the face of sexual harassment charges leveled against him.
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
Likewise, her rabid attacks against Justice Brett Kavanaugh during his Senate confirmation process provided some of the debacle’s most memorable moments. While addressing Christine Blasey-Ford at the hearing, she said:
“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. 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.”