Hammon opponent wants zero-tolerance rule on sex harassment
Forget fines, Joshua Griffith says regarding sexual harassment allegations coming out of the General Assembly in recent days.
“It's a zero-tolerance thing in my opinion,” Griffin, who is running against Rep. Norine Hammond (R-Macomb) in the primary for District 93, told the West Central Reporter.
A retired Army sergeant and former youth minister, Griffith decried the limited response he sees taking place after the harassment charges were levied this week.
“We need information,” Griffith said. “We need transparency.”
Griffin said House Minority Leader Jim Durkin's (R-Western Springs) proposal to set up a sexual harassment hotline is a start, as was finally hiring a legislative inspector general after a nearly three-year absence.
“It's a step in the right direction,” Griffith said of the hotline.
Griffith cited the training he received in the military as a method by which state offices could crack down on instances of sexual harassment and workplace hostility.
In general, Griffith said, not having an inspector general in place led to a shameful failure of the state in reviewing any complaints of ethical misbehavior. In fact, he said, it’s hard to say just what the complaints are about since they haven’t been released.
“Anything that goes against the principles that we stand on would be an ethical issue,” Griffith said.
In a recent Facebook post, Griffith spoke out in more detail on the process since 2014 and how the state can win back the trust of the public. Lamenting the bipartisan lack of solutions during the past few years, Griffith said now that there is an inspector general, releasing some of the text of ethics complaints could be a good move toward transparency.
“There must be accountability from both parties as this information is revealed,” Griffith wrote. “It is not an option to ‘sweep these things under the rug’ to protect those in the ‘good ole boy’ system. The only way to maintain the trust of the public is for there to be accountability as the information is revealed. Harassment is not accepted and should not be accepted on any level. This to me is even more important for our state legislatures as they should be setting the standards as our ‘lawmakers.’"
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