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OCE Referral Regarding Rep. Alcee Hastings

Jan 11, 2012

OCE Referral Regarding Rep. Alcee Hastings

On October 13, 2011, The Office of Congressional Ethics transmitted a referral to the Committee on Ethics of the United States House of Representatives regarding Representative Alcee Hastings.

Nature of Review

On March 7, 2011, Witness 1 filed an employment discrimination lawsuit against the United States Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe ("Helsinki Commission"), Representative Alcee Hastings, and Helsinki Commission Staff Director, Fred Turner.  The suit alleged that from January 2008 through February 2010, while employed at the Helsinki Commission, Witness 1 endured unwelcome sexual advances, sexual comments, and unwelcome touching by Representative Hastings.  Witness 1 alleged that she repeatedly complained about the conduct to the Helsinki Commission and Mr. Turner, and that Representative Hastings and Mr. Turner affected the conditions of her employment because she objected to Representative Hastings' conduct.

If Representative Hastings engaged in the conduct described above, he may have violated House rules, standards of conduct, and federal law.

OCE Recommendation

The Board of the Office of Congressional Ethics recommended that the Committee on Ethics further review the above allegations because there is probable cause to believe that Representative Hastings violated House rules, standards of conduct, and federal law as a result of his interactions with Witness 1.

Committe Conclusion

On January 11, 2012, the Committee on Ethics released a statement indicating it would continue to gather information necessary to complete its review. The Committee published the OCE report and findings and announced the allegations would be further reviewed pursuant to the Committee Rule 18(a).

On December 11, 2014, the Committee on Ethics released a report concluding there was not sufficient evidence to substantiate Witness 1’s claims and closed the matter. In addition, the Committee concluded while the most serious allegations were not supported by the evidence, Representative Hastings has admitted to certain conduct that was less than professional.