PHOENIX (CBS 5/3TV) - Women who worked at the Arizona Election Audit endured sexual harassment for weeks, even after submitting written accounts of what was taking place. That is according to a former employee who spoke to Arizona’s Family Investigates.
Arizona’s Family agreed to conceal the employee’s identity because she says she was a victim of the sexual harassment herself. She provided us with statements from seven witnesses and victims, which corroborate her description of what happened.
“Any time he would come across someone he considered attractive or a woman, he would harass them, things like trying to demand dates, things like making sexual comments,” said the employee. She said the comments turned into unwanted touching and other physical advances.
The statements described situations that involved more than one alleged offender, but the complaints centered on one man in particular. “(The person) has made several unwarranted and unwanted comments about my appearance,” wrote one woman. “He commented, ‘You showing off your butt?’” wrote another woman.
Several of the complaint letters are a page or longer. “We personally agree among ourselves that his disruptions are no longer tolerable,” wrote another employee. “When I didn’t return a compliment or react to his flirting, he would insult me,” wrote a woman. She also said the man engaged in unwanted touching.
And several of the complaints described instances where the man would become aggressive and angry. “He would seemingly randomly have angry outbursts,” wrote one witness. “This issue seemed to stem from some type of anger over women having authority over him,” wrote another witness.
The letters are dated May 8. But the employee who spoke to Arizona’s Family Investigates said the man was kept on staff for another month. “We told upper management and they allowed him to stay on the floor for weeks,” she said.
Arizona’s Family Investigates is not identifying the man who is accused of the harassment because he has not been charged with a crime. Calls to the Arizona Audit media line were not returned.
Arizona’s Family Investigates contacted Senate President Karen Fann, the Republican lawmaker who is ultimately in charge of the audit. Through a spokesperson, she relayed the response she received from the audit’s lead vendor, whose name we were not given.
“I have never received any written complaints of any type of sexual harassment, nor has a complaint like this been brought to my attention. The closest thing I can think of is I am aware of a single table manager who was cussing a lot, and had apparently told an inappropriate joke. We fired him immediately."
He also denied they changed their policies and procedures during the audit or that anybody was injured on the job.