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NY Senate's Revised Sexual Harassment Policy Draws Fire

Sen. Andrea Stewart-Cousins
Karen DeWitt
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Adding a warning to false accusers in the state Senate's newly revised anti-sexual harassment policy is an example of "the type of intimidation" that has kept harassment victims from coming forward, according to the only female leader of a legislative conference in Albany.

Andrea Stewart-Cousins, leader of the Republican-controlled chamber's Democratic conference, responded to Monday's distribution of the new policy to senators and staff, pointing out that she wasn't included in discussions about the revisions despite her leadership position in the Legislature, which she claimed was "proof" Senate leaders aren't serious about combating sexual harassment.

She took particular issue with a new sentence included in the four-page document under the heading investigation procedures: "Reporting a false complaint is a serious act."

Distribution of the new policy comes amid sexual harassment allegations a former Senate staffer leveled against Sen. Jeff Klein, of the Bronx, the leader of the chamber's breakaway Democratic faction.

(C) 2018 Associated Press

Dave Lucas is WAMC’s Capital Region Bureau Chief. Born and raised in Albany, he’s been involved in nearly every aspect of local radio since 1981. Before joining WAMC, Dave was a reporter and anchor at WGY in Schenectady. Prior to that he hosted talk shows on WYJB and WROW, including the 1999 series of overnight radio broadcasts tracking the JonBenet Ramsey murder case with a cast of callers and characters from all over the world via the internet. In 2012, Dave received a Communicator Award of Distinction for his WAMC news story "Fail: The NYS Flood Panel," which explores whether the damage from Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee could have been prevented or at least curbed. Dave began his radio career as a “morning personality” at WABY in Albany.
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