The possible hypocrisy is astounding; Brenda Lawrence, the Michigan Democrat who introduced legislation to require congressional staffers to take an online course on sexual harassment, kept her chief of staff, Duron Marshall, in his job despite reportedly being warned by three female former staffers that he had sexually harassed them.
But after the staffers’ claims were published by Politico last week, on Tuesday Marshall was placed on administrative leave. Lawrence stated, “It is unfortunate that I am just learning of these allegations by unidentified former employees for the first time. My office will nonetheless take all necessary steps to root out and address any inappropriate behavior."
On Thursday, Marshall submitted his resignation. Lawrence stated, "It is my goal to establish a clearly defined communication process as it relates to employee concerns. Through this workplace assessment, I intend to establish an office environment that would be a model for offices on Capitol Hill. No employee should ever be made to feel intimidated, harassed or otherwise discriminated against in their place of work."
Yet Politico had reported, “… three former aides to Lawrence, all female, told POLITICO they personally relayed concerns to the congresswoman about how the chief of staff, Dwayne Duron Marshall, treated women.”
Lawrence claimed she was ignorant of the matter, saying, “I want to be very clear, very firm, that I had no knowledge of any allegations of sexual harassment in my office, and when I say none, I mean none. I have had individual conversations with some of my employees when they had exit interviews. I’ve had one-on-ones, and we have discussed things in the office that they felt we could do better. I have implemented training and other positive forms of correction. ... But I have not, and I want to be very clear, have not ever, had an employee — former or present — talk to me about sexual harassment in my office.”