The Iowa Senate’s Republican leader is changing course, announcing this morning he — by the end of the week — release a report on the internal investigation into alleged sexual harassment of the employees he supervises.
Senate GOP Leader Bill Dix also has dropped plans to pay an “outside organization” for advice on human resources issues. A former lawmaker who once led the HR department of the state’s largest insurance company has volunteered to offer Dix her counsel for free.
During a question-and-answer session this morning with reporters, Governor Kim Reynolds said former Iowa Senate President Mary Kramer, who’s also a former U.S. Ambassador, is a “good choice.”
“I think it’s really positive steps in the right direction and I want to commend him on that,” Reynolds said.
Last week, the Republican governor and Republican House Speaker Linda Upmeyer called on Dix to release any details about sexual harassment in the Senate GOP’s office that were not revealed during a recent trial. Former Senate GOP communications director Kirsten Anderson and three people who still work for Dix testified about a “toxic work environment,” but Dix last week said the investigation of that environment should be kept secret because there was an “expectation of privacy” for senate employees.
Dix today also has agreed to “reengage” with Upmeyer, the top Republican in the legislature, on the hiring of an HR manager for the legislature. The governor said she appreciates Dix making these changes.
“That’s a step in the right direction,” Reynolds told reporters. “I think releasing the information this Friday is a step in the right direction.”
Reynolds has talked privately with Dix about these issues, but the governor told reporters she has not seen or read the report Dix plans to make public. Dix released a written statement this morning, saying he’s bringing Kramer in as a volunteer advisor to assist in efforts “to improve the workplace culture.”
Kramer released a written statement, too, saying she was dismayed to watch the situation in the senate unfold and she has concluded “there is serious need for culture reform in the Iowa Senate.”