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.
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