Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton chose to keep a top adviser on her 2008 presidential campaign team despite repeated complaints that he was sexually harassing a subordinate, The New York Times reported Friday.
Citing unidentified sources who were familiar with the situation, the Times reported that Clinton’s then-campaign manager, Patti Solis Doyle, recommended the firing of her faith adviser, Burns Strider, in response to the complaints, but Clinton declined to do so.
A 30-year-old woman who shared an office with Strider told a Clinton campaign official that he “rubbed her shoulders inappropriately, kissed her on the forehead and sent her a string of suggestive emails,” according to the Times. The complaint was shared with Doyle, who brought it to Clinton’s attention and called for his firing.
Clinton instead docked Strider’s pay and ordered he undergo counseling, according to the Times. The woman he was accused of harassing was sent to a different job.
Hillary Clinton’s senior adviser was docked several weeks of pay and ordered to undergo counseling, and the young woman he allegedly harassed was moved to a new job https://t.co/oEhFVqpmGs— The New York Times (@nytimes) January 26, 2018
The law firm that represented Clinton’s 2008 campaign, Utrecht, Kleinfeld, Fiori, Partners, said in a statement to the Times that the complaint was reviewed.
“To ensure a safe working environment, the campaign had a process to address complaints of misconduct or harassment. When matters arose, they were reviewed in accordance with these policies, and appropriate action was taken,” the statement said. “This complaint was no exception.”
Years after the alleged harassment, Strider was hired by Correct the Record, a group that supported Clinton’s 2016 run for the White House, the Times reported. He was fired from the position a few months later due to “workplace issues, including allegations that he harassed a young female aide,” according to the newspaper.
Strider co-founded the American Values Network, a progressive Christian lobbying organization for which he serves as president. In a biography on the network's website, Strider is described as "best known as the Democratic Party's 'faith guru.'" He has acted as an adviser on more than 100 U.S. House of Representatives, Senate, statewide and national campaigns.