Kamala Harris aide resigns after sexual harassment settlement surfaces
Tal Kopan Dec. 6, 2018 Updated: Dec. 6, 2018 4:25 p.m.
Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., denied knowing about an aide’s alleged harassment or settlement until this week. The aide re
signed after the Sacramento Bee inquired about a $400,000 harassment and retaliation settlement from his time working for her at the California Department of Justice. Photo: Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times
WASHINGTON — A senior aide to Sen. Kamala Harris of California has resigned after it was reported that the state paid $400,000 to settle a sexual harassment lawsuit filed against him for his alleged conduct at the California Department of Justice while Harris ran the agency.
Harris denied knowing about the alleged harassment or settlement until this week. Larry Wallace, a senior adviser in the Democratic senator’s Sacramento office, resigned after the Sacramento Bee inquired about the settlement Wednesday.
“We were unaware of this issue and take accusations of harassment extremely seriously,” Harris spokeswoman Lily Adams said in a statement. “Mr. Wallace offered his resignation to the senator and she accepted it.”
The plaintiff, Danielle Hartley, filed her lawsuit on Dec. 30, 2016, as Harris was ending her tenure as state attorney general and transitioning to the Senate. But it’s not clear when the state Department of Justice was made aware of the suit. The confirmation that the agency was officially served with the complaint was not until Jan. 20, 2017, after Harris had left for Washington.
Wallace joined Harris’ Sacramento office on March 1, 2017, the senator’s staff said.
Harris did not comment to reporters about the lawsuit Thursday. Efforts to reach Wallace were unsuccessful.
Hartley said in her suit that Wallace, her boss in the Justice Department’s Division of Law Enforcement, repeatedly harassed her starting in 2011.
She said Wallace had placed a printer under his desk and required Hartley to refresh its supplies daily, in front of him and other male executives. He refused her requests to move the printer to a spot where she would not have to crawl on the floor, she said.
Hartley said her career at the Justice Department suffered after she complained about Wallace and also sought damages for the alleged retaliation.
A state Department of Justice spokeswoman said the agency would not comment on “personnel matters” and that the lawsuit “was handled in keeping with standard procedure.”