What’s a little harassment and threat of violence between colleagues?
Just a bit of fun in Mike DeWine’s office, apparently.
According to the Associated Press, two cases of internal harassment cases have recently surfaced in DeWine’s office that involved a “partial departure from protocol.”
The first occurred after “DeWine requested and received the name of a confidential informant thought to have knowledge of someone committing sexual harassment.” That case was reportedly “closed days later after the initial witness declined to cooperate and no harasser could be identified.”
The second case involved an assistant AG in DeWine’s employment-law section, and a legal secretary in the office.
“(An) investigation found that on June 26, 2013, (Supervisor Lisa) Jewell reported hearing (assistant attorney general Tim) Miller tell the secretary, ‘You know, there is nothing more fun than smacking a woman — that is, except for punching them.’”
Jewell brought the matter to another supervisor, Timothy Lecklider, who was then in charge of investigating and handling this matter. (Lecklider now reportedly works for the Franklin County prosecutor).
“Lecklider reported a strained relationship with Jewell and said he viewed the allegations she presented in the spring as hearsay,” the AP reported. And after having to be remind by an assistant section chief of his obligation to handle the incident, “Lecklider acted by issuing a verbal warning to Miller to stop the behavior. He told Jewell at the time that he didn’t want the office to be ‘a no-fun zone,’ the investigation found.”
Lawd’a’mighty, who the hell is this guy when he’s at home? Call me naive, but I’m pretty sure it’s possible to have fun in the workplace without throwing around sexist jokes about violence against women.
DeWine’s opponent this Nov. 4 is having none of it.
“These startling incidents are starting to resemble a workplace out of the 1950s when it comes to women. It’s long past time to end a “Mad Men” culture which keeps rearing its ugly head in the Attorney General’s Office,” Pepper said in a news release.
“The attorney general can’t lead the fight to prevent violence against women if he doesn’t protect the women who work in his own office. Threats of violence are never acceptable and should never be swept under the rug. I will order a complete internal investigation of these incidents and any others—and bring in outside experts to do a top-to-bottom review of the office’s harassment policies and practices—to ensure that we are taking every possible step to create a safe, harassment-free working environment in the AG’s office.”
David DeWitt is a journalist and universal minister based out of Athens, Ohio. He can be found on Twitter @TheRevDeWitt.