Voters will be left to decide the fate of elected officials involved in sexual harassment complaints at the Iowa capitol. That’s according to former Senate President Mary Kramer who released recommendations to ensure a safe workplace at the statehouse on Friday.
“The elected official is really accountable only to the people who vote for them,” Kramer says. “The obligation of the organization will be to let the people who elected him know what went on so they can make their own judgment."
The report was commissioned after taxpayers covered an almost 2-million dollar sexual harassment settlement against Senate Republicans last year. The report says "there is nothing that has changed to prevent additional inappropriate behavior and ensuing problems."
Democratic Senate Minority Leader Janet Petersen agrees with Kramer’s conclusion that little has changed. Petersen calls on Republican leaders who hold the majority to “move quickly to adopt the recommendations.”
Kramer says Republican Senate Majority Leader Bill Dix has been cooperative while she has been working on her report. She says it’s “worthy to note” that Senator Dix was the person who approached Kramer to make the changes.
Critics say Senator Dix has not handled the sexual harassment complaint well. Protestors picketed outside his home near the northeastern Iowa town of Shell Rock this weekend.
Kramer also serves on Iowa Public Radio's Board of Directors. She also served as US Ambassador to Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean from 2004 to 2006. Kramer was a private sector Human Resources professional before her political career.