A high-level staffer who worked on Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s (D-MA) presidential campaign has been fired after a weeks-long investigation into various allegations of “inappropriate behavior.”
Rich McDaniel, who served as Warren’s national organizing director, parted ways with the presidential campaign earlier in the week, a campaign spokeswoman confirmed on Friday morning.
“Over the past two weeks, senior campaign leadership received multiple complaints regarding inappropriate behavior by Rich McDaniel,” Kristen Orthman, communication director for Warren’s 2020 campaign, told Politico. “Over the same time period, the campaign retained outside counsel to conduct an investigation.”
“Based on the results of the investigation, the campaign determined that his reported conduct was inconsistent with its values and that he could not be a part of the campaign moving forward,” she added.
Warren’s campaign retained attorney Kate Kimpel of KK Advising to conduct the investigation, reported Politico. Kimpel, an employment and anti-discrimination litigator, is most well-known for co-founding Ramona Strategies, a women-owned and women-run consulting firm that focuses on sexual harassment and inappropriate workplace behaviors.
A person familiar to the investigation told Politico that the campaign did not receive any sexual assault complaints regarding McDaniel. However, the individual declined to comment further due to confidentiality issues, and no other details regarding the complaint have been released.
McDaniel issued his own press release on Friday confirming the dismissal.
“I have separated from the campaign and am no longer serving as National Organizing Director,” McDaniel wrote in a statement. “I have tremendous respect for my colleagues despite any disagreements we may have had and believe departing at this time is in the best interest of both parties.”
“I would never intentionally engage in any behavior inconsistent with the campaign or my own values,” he continued. “If others feel that I have, I understand it is important to listen even when you disagree. I wish the campaign and my colleagues well.”
McDaniel was one of Warren’s first campaign hires and was highly touted at the time. Prior to joining her 2020 campaign, he served as the political director for Sen. Doug Jones’ (D-AL) 2017 Senate bid. He also worked on former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s failed presidential campaign in 2016.
The Massachusetts senator addressed the shake-up while campaigning in Los Angeles on Friday.
“It is really hard for anyone to come forward with a complaint or with a concern and the people who did that showed incredible courage and I am deeply grateful to them,” Warren told reporters. “When I first set up this campaign, we put in place a procedure to deal with problems and in this case we followed that procedure, we resolved the issue in a very short period of time, and I stand by the process that we put in place.”
“I don’t have anything else to say about this specific case,” she continued. “But I do want to use this as an opportunity to say employers all across this country need to have processes in place so that people who have complaints, who have concerns, can bring them forward without fear that they will be discriminated against or penalized going forward.”