Columbus, OH– Ohio State Senator Cliff Hite, a Republican from Findlay, was forced to resign in late October after a legislative staffer accused him of sexual harassment. Now, there are demands for mandatory training the Columbus Statehouse.
Ohio State Senator Resigns After Being Accused of Sexual Harassment
State Senator, Cliff Hite, R-Findlay was forced to resign in late October after a legislative employee accused him of repeated sexual harassment. The allegations came to light when the woman’s employer released a memo detailing the months of harassment she endured from Hite at work and on social media.
The Cincinnati Enquirer obtained a copy of an October 19 memo through a records request and offered various details about the harassment experienced by the staffer. According to the memo, Hite repeatedly asked the woman to have sex with him, telling her he had a secret apartment from a previous affair so that they could be discreet.
Hite once suggested they have sex a few times and if she didn’t like it, they could stop. He solicited her for a sexual relationship in the statehouse and on the internet. On one occasion he showed up at her office with a bouquet of flowers with a sexually-charged note and even followed her to her car located in a nearby parking deck.
The woman repeatedly rebuffed his advances but he continued to dog her for weeks.
Just five days after the memo was issued, Hite, resigned, the Enquirer reports. He also downplayed his inexcusable behavior by characterizing it as inappropriate language and unwanted hugs.
After Hite’s resignation, the House and Senate, which are controlled by Republicans, said they would make sexual harassment training mandatory for legislators and their staff.
One lawmaker from Columbus, Sen. Charleta Tavares, is working on legislation to address sexual harassment in the legislature, the Enquirer reports.
“This behavior is not a joke. It is not playful banter. It is not flirting,” Tavares wrote in a letter to lawmakers. “This behavior exploits an elected position of power to create a hostile and intimidating work environment for women whose jobs are often in the hands of the perpetrator.”
Since 2015, three lawmakers and a legislative aide have been accused of sexual harassment, according to the Enquirer who obtained the information through a records request.
The accusations against Hite emerged as numerous women have come forward accusing high profile men of sexual harassment and misconduct, including Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein, former Fox News host Bill O’Reilly and NPR chief news executive Michael Oreskes.
Call a Sexual Harassment Lawyer in Columbus
Sexual harassment happens in blue-collar workplaces, in corporate boardrooms, and statehouses across the country. If you are sexually harassed in your Columbus workplace, USAttorneys.com recommends you speak with a legal expert. We can connect you with a sexual harassment lawyer in Columbus Ohio to explain how you can end the harassment and recover compensation for your damages.