Mich. rep: I didn't have chance to address harassment claims against former chief of staff

Rep. Brenda LawrenceBrenda Lulenar LawrenceHouse Democrat walks back remark favoring censure over impeachment Jane Fonda calls for protecting water resources at weekly DC climate protest DCCC adds senior staffers after summer departures MORE (D-Mich.) said Monday she’s conducting an independent investigation into accusations of sexual harassment against her former chief of staff, adding that she didn’t have the opportunity to address the accusations herself.

“None of those concerns were given to me. I didn’t have the opportunity to address them, which I would have,” Lawrence said on CNN’s “New Day.”

Politico reported earlier this month that three female former aides for Lawrence said they told the congresswoman about her chief of staff Dwayne Duron Marshall’s inappropriate behavior toward women. Two of the women said Marshall was the reason they left Lawrence’s office.

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Lawrence has maintained she was not aware of sexual harassment allegations.

Marshall resigned last week.

Lawrence said Monday she’s brought in outside counsel to do an assessment of her office and to interview her district and congressional staff to ensure there are proper protocols for dealing with sexual harassment.

“No one should be an environment where they feel like they’re not safe when it comes to a work environment,” she said. “And that’s why I’m doing an independent investigation in my office.”

Lawrence introduced legislation last month that would require congressional staffers to undergo online sexual harassment training.

Sexual harassment has been at the forefront of discussion on the Hill in recent weeks. Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore is facing allegations of sexual misconduct from multiple women. Two have claimed he initiated a sexual relationship with them when they were teenagers and he was in his 30s.

Last week, radio broadcaster Leeann Tweeden accused Sen. Al FrankenAlan (Al) Stuart FrankenBill Press: Don't forget about Amy Key moments in the 2020 Democratic presidential race so far Al Franken mocks McConnell: 'Like listening to Jeffrey Dahmer complain about the decline of dinner party etiquette' MORE (D-Minn.) of kissing and groping her without her consent during a USO tour in 2006, where Franken was headlining as a comedian. She published a photo of Franken appearing to grab at her chest while she was asleep.

A pair of female Democratic lawmakers introduced legislation on Wednesday that would overhaul policies to combat and report complaints of sexual harassment on Capitol Hill.