June 22nd, 2011
Hours after Rep. Anthony Weiner’s resignation
became official, a sexual harassment case involving Rep. Alcee Hastings
Gary Fields and Brody Mullins report for the Wall Street Journal that the
independent Office of Congressional Ethics is
now investigating a claim that Hastings sexually harassed a woman working on
Fields and Mullins write that the Office investigation was opened after
conservative group Judicial Watch filed
a lawsuit in March as the legal counsel for Republican staffer Winsome
Packer. Packer, who served on the U.S. Commission on Security and Cooperation in
Europe–a group headed by the congressman–alleges that Hastings retaliated when
Packer attempted to report the harassment, according to the paper. Judicial
Watch has targeted Hastings in the past.
Accusations include “unwelcome sexual advances,”
and “unwelcome touching,” according to March reports of the lawsuit. Packer had
accused Hastings of offering her invitations to his hotel room, asking
inappropriate questions in public including “What kind of underwear are you
wearing?” as well as pressuring her to give him gifts and donate to his
Hastings, a 74-year-old 10-term lawmaker, strongly denies all charges. He
stated back in March when reports of the lawsuit became public that he “never
sexually harassed anyone.”
“That is a certainty: In a race with a lie, the truth always wins. And when
the truth comes to light and the personal agendas of my accusers are exposed, I
will be vindicated.”
Democrats this week had hoped that Weiner’s resignation, effective Tuesday,
would finally end talk of sex scandals concerning their members and shift focus
back to legislating, as well as campaign-based efforts to attack Republicans on
Medicare and other issues. The Ethics Committee announced prior to Weiner’s
resignation that it had opened an investigation into Weiner’s risque online
The Office of Congressional Ethics is not the House Ethics Committee– which
investigates House members and metes out punishments (as it did for New
York Democrat Charlie Rangel last winter). The Office was established by
then- Speaker Nancy Pelosi in 2008 to better connect the House Ethics Committee
with the public and to process public complaints. The Office’s investigation is
a precursor to a formal Ethics Committee investigation, which would proceed
largely on the recommendation of the Office.
The Wall Street Journal notes that even if the Office passes on recommending
an Committee investigation, “its findings must be made public.”
The House Ethics process has
drawn heavy criticism for what detractors say is a persistent failure to
effectively punish and police its members.
Alcee Hastings was born on September 5th, 1936 according to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alcee_Hastings
September 5th, 1936
9 + 5 +2+0+1+0 = 17 = his personal year (from September 5th, 2010 to September 4th, 2011) = Realism.
17 year + 6 (June) = 23 = his personal month (from June 5th, 2011 to July 4th, 2011) = Taking action.
23 month + 22 (22nd of the month on Wednesday June 22nd, 2011) = 45 = his personal day = Investigation.