Officials say negotiations are underway with an agency in the executive branch of state government about personnel matters in the Iowa Senate, but it’s unclear if the agency would take over the investigation of alleged sexual harassment in the Senate GOP Caucus Staff office.
Senate Republican Leader Bill Dix publicly announced Wednesday afternoon that discussions with the Department of Administrative Services are part of his “on-going” response to a jury’s decision that the state should pay $2.2 million to a former Senate G-O-P staffer who testified she was sexually harassed while at work. Dix said last Friday he had asked a senate staffer he hired last January to handle the investigation and determine if the allegations are “truthful.”
Yesterday, Governor Kim Reynolds told reporters she has a “zero tolerance” policy when it comes to sexual harassment in the executive branch and Reynolds said Dix has made it clear the same policy is in force now in all corners of the legislative branch.
“The Senate is conducting an investigation into the full scope of what came out at the trial, so I’m appreciative in the steps that they are taking,” Reynolds said, “and I have faith in Senator Dix that he will take the necessary steps and has, it’s my understanding, taken the necessary steps.”
Reynolds said yesterday it’s “not a bad idea” to have an “outside” review of allegations about a “toxic” work environment in the Senate GOP Caucus Staff office.