EEOC Executive Says Thomas Scrupulous, Professional, Superlative Boss With PM-Thomas
NEW YORK (AP) _ A long-time employee of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission who worked under Clarence Thomas said today the embattled Supreme Court nominee once disciplined subordinates accused of sexual harassment.
Ronnie Blumenthal, a 22-year veteran of the EEOC and the acting director of its office of communications and legislative affairs, also said she’d never seen Thomas display the sexually harassing behavior alleged by Anita Hill, the law professor who once worked as Thomas’s assistant.
Blumenthal, who was attending a conference in New York on personnel issues, didn’t elaborate on the instances in which she said Thomas disciplined other employees in the office accused of sexual harassment.
But asked by reporters about Hill’s accusations, which have threatened Thomas’s confirmation, Blumenthal said ″my contacts were frequent with him, and he was just a magnificent man to work for and never dealt in issues such as that.″
Thomas has denied the harassment accusations, but the Senate delayed a vote on his confirmation Tuesday night to investigate them. The vote has been rescheduled for next Tuesday.
Blumenthal said she didn’t report directly to Thomas during his tenure as EEOC chairman, but said she found him ″scrupulous, professional and a superlative individual for whom to work.″
Asked about papers released by an anti-Thomas group Tuesday suggesting he recommended more than a decade ago that federal guidelines on sexual harassment be loosened, Blumenthal said she heard ″nothing whatsover″ about such recommendations.
She said, ″I worked very closely with Judge Thomas and have an enormous amount of respect for him.″
Blumenthal was attending the Ninth Annual Human Resources Conference sponsored by the Conference Board, a New York-based business research group, attended by about 300 corporate personnel executives.