Louisiana’s Governor is asking that the Secretary of State step down from his position and here’s why.
Louisiana’s Secretary of State, Tom Schedler, has not only been accused of sexually harassing a woman he works with but is also a named defendant in a lawsuit that was filed last week. According to WDSU, Schedler made unwanted sexual advances and pursued retaliatory harassment for years after the woman rebuffed his repeated advances. According to the lawsuit, Schedler would “send the woman Valentine’s Day cards addressed to “My Dearest Sunshine,” roses, bottles of wine, clothing and sex tapes, despite her telling him she was not interested in a sexual relationship” [The Advocate].
While the secretary of state claims the relationship he had with the woman was consensual, the woman’s LA sexual harassment lawyer denied these claims. As a result of the lawsuit, Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards has called on Schedler to step down and resign. Edwards has stated previously that “any instance of sexual harassment in the workplace should not be tolerated,” and that “elected officials must live by an even higher standard.” Apparently, Schedler didn’t get that memo. And now Edwards believes that his resignation would “be the best path forward for Tom and the state of Louisiana.”
Senator Sharon Hewitt also voiced her opinion on the matter and asked that Schedler step down as well. Although she described the Secretary as a friend, she stated that he “can no longer be an effective leader or role model for our state.” Democratic Senator Regina Barrow also agreed Schedler should give up his position and said that “the situation is very difficult for her because she has long respected and like Schedler.”
While Schedler is currently in his second terms as LA’s top elections officer’s, he has yet to notify the public as to whether he plans to resign. But, because he has denied the allegations and the “facts are in dispute,” he may be waiting for a decision to be made before taking the leap and quitting. If Schedler does decide to resign, he won’t be the only one to do so from the field of politics. Just a few months back one of Edwards’ top aides resigned amid sexual harassment allegations. While some lawmakers have been able to accept that they engaged in inappropriate behavior and left their career, others seem to have a harder time walking away.
If Schedler Doesn’t Resign, Will He Be Forced Out?
Because everyone is entitled to work in a healthy and hostile-free workplace, it is likely that if Schedler doesn’t step down that the team he once considered to be his colleagues may vote against him and request that he be expelled.
With the issue of sexual harassment finally being taken seriously, it is getting more difficult for people who have committed these unwanted acts to get away with engaging inappropriate behavior. And this case, like many others, show that if a victim comes forward and is persistent with her/her complaint, justice may be served.
If you are a sexual harassment victim and you live in the state of Louisiana, USAttorneys.com wants to help you get paired up with a reliable and dedicated LA sexual harassment attorney in your city. These professionals have the skill and knowledge necessary to hold a perpetrator accountable for their unjust actions.