Gillibrand: ‘Post-investigation’ errors in misconduct claim

DUBUQUE, Iowa (AP) — New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand acknowledged Tuesday that there were some “post-investigation human errors” when her Senate office investigated allegations of sexual misconduct against various staffers.

Gillibrand, campaigning in Iowa for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination, also confirmed that her deputy chief of staff, Anne Bradley, was resigning but said only that “the decision was her own.” Bradley’s handling of a sexual harassment claim made by a female staffer against one of Gillibrand’s male aides came under fire after Politico reported the aide was kept on despite the allegation.

Gillibrand’s office had concluded that the female staffer’s allegations “did not meet the standard of sexual harassment.” Gillibrand said she stood behind her office’s response, which led the female staffer to resign.

The male aide was fired after Politico presented Gillibrand’s office with additional allegations.

Bradley had worked for the Democratic senator since 2007, and her resignation was first reported by Politico.

“We decided that because of some post-investigation human errors that future investigations should be done by our new chief of staff, who actually has experience in this area,” Gillibrand said, a reference to Joi Chaney, who joined the senator’s staff in January and previously served in the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission during the Obama administration.

Gillibrand, who has been a forceful public advocate for victims of sexual misconduct, declined to reveal the “human errors,” saying that revealing personnel decisions would be inappropriate.

“If there are ways to improve, we certainly will. We always have taken this seriously and investigated it thoroughly and treated every person who’s come forward with the respect and dignity they deserve,” Gillibrand added.