Sexual Harassment and Elected Officials – Should Every Level of Government Be Held Accountable?

UPDATED 8 a.m. December 1, 2017 |  

By Connie Conley | November 30, 2017 |  

What is that saying, “The bigger they are, the harder they fall.” But it is finally occurring and the dark secret of sexual harassment is finally seeing the light of day against some big names in politics, news and show business.

Finally, women are being believed about sexual harassment in the both the public and private sector.  What is most interesting with both CBS and NBC, concerning their icons of morning show hosts, only accusations were enough to get Charlie Rose and Matt Lauer fired. 

Shockingly with Lauer, it just took 24 hours for the hammer to drop. Sadly, unlike these two men who are multimillionaires, they don’t have to work another day in their lives to maintain their lavish lifestyles, the women they allegedly assaulted most likely have had a very hard time of it career wise. 

Even more astonishing, is that elected officials are finally being outed. Nationally, Senator Al Franken and Congressman John Conyers are being taken to task for their reported illicit behavior. However, Conyers along with Roy Moore, are taking their lead from President Donald Trump in handling allegations of sexual assault and harassment. Apparently, all you do is deny the allegations, even though in Trump’s case over 15 women have come forward, and not anonymously, and nothing.  Shouldn’t the most powerful man in the world be held to the highest of standards? With the Access Hollywood tape as evidence regarding Trump’s lewd treatment of women, apparently the answer is, “No!”

In the California State Legislature, Assembly member Raul Bocanegra resigned and Senator Tony Mendoza was stripped of his leadership posts. Sadly, with the current legislative hearings and the testimony of brave women coming forward, these two are just the tip of the iceberg. . . and it is melting. How many legislators are running for cover waiting for their day of reckoning?

So that is the National and State level, but what about at the local level? If you knew there have been allegations of sexual harassment against Elk Grove City Council members, shouldn’t they also resign? Wouldn’t such behavior fall below the moral standard expected of them?

What about unwanted unsolicited hugs or massaging of shoulders by council members of city employees; making some women employees very uncomfortable? How can city employees report such incidents to City Manager Laura Gill when the council members themselves are her boss? 

Is there a safe environment for city employees to report such behavior given the fact that there has already been an investigation into a hostile work environment at the city of Elk Grove?  [The findings of the investigation remain confidential with the Council citing personnel issues, only stating for the record, “Changes will be made.”]

No matter what your political beliefs, sexual harassment by elected officials albeit at the national, state or local level is reprehensible, indefensible, and unacceptable. Period. 

Some officials are going so far as to call for the immediate resignation of every elected official who has settled a sexual harassment case, along with anyone who is party to trying to hide this type of behavior. 

If any of this behavior has occurred at the local level, the same should be true, no ifs, ands or buts!

Copyright © 2017 by Connie Conley. All rights reserved.

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