COLUMBUS – Today, members of the Ohio Democratic Women’s Caucus delivered a petition to Attorney General Mike DeWine’s office calling on him to allow an independent investigation of sexual harassment allegations. Over 1,000 concerned citizens signed an online petition demanding a review of the original allegations and the subsequent actions taken by DeWine and his senior staff.
Kathy DiCristofaro, Chair of the Ohio Democratic Women’s Caucus, made the following statement:
“Sexual harassment remains a major hurdle to women in the workplace, but Mike DeWine failed to set an appropriate example for handling harassment cases when he inserted himself into an ongoing investigation. Showing his staff a short web video months later is not an adequate response to such a serious matter. Ohioans deserve an independent review of every detail of this case.”
Reports of the case detail allegations made by an intern against a senior male staffer who was reportedly personally close to Mike DeWine. The intern reported under oath that she was touched on her shoulder and knee by the harasser and that he would position himself close to her in a “creepy” manner.
As the investigation progressed, a confidential informant came forward to DeWine’s internal investigator. Over the investigator’s objections, DeWine demanded and received the name of this informant. Shortly thereafter, the investigation was closed. In a move of apparent retaliation, the internal investigator who initially refused to give DeWine the informant’s name was threatened with felony charges by DeWine’s senior staff.
Recently, as a response to these events, DeWine’s office required staff, including DeWine to watch a 24-minute sexual harassment training web video.
*A copy of the letter to DeWine is available here.