Gillibrand aide leaving amid questions over handling of sexual misconduct allegation

Gillibrand aide leaving amid questions over handling of sexual misconduct allegation

A top aide in Sen. Kirsten GillibrandKirsten Elizabeth GillibrandCory Booker has a problem in 2020: Kamala Harris Booker to supporter who wanted him to punch Trump: 'Black guys like us, we don't get away with that' 2020 Dems ratchet up anti-corporate talk in bid to woo unions MORE’s (D-N.Y.) Senate office is reportedly leaving after questions about the aide's handling of a sexual harassment allegation against a top male staffer that was uncovered earlier this month.

Gillibrand told reporters in Iowa on Tuesday while on the presidential campaign trail that her deputy chief of staff, Anne Bradley, was resigning and that “the decision was her own,” The Associated Press reported.

Bradley has worked for the New York Democrat since 2007 and had been planning to retire later this year, though expedited her departure after details of the investigation were revealed, according to Politico.

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Gillibrand’s Senate office did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Hill regarding the aide's departure.

Bradley came under fire earlier this month after it was revealed that the male staffer involved in the dispute was kept on despite the allegation. The female staffer who brought forth the claim resigned as a result.

Abbas Malik, whom the female staffer claimed made unwanted sexual advances, was only fired after Politico presented Gillibrand’s office with additional allegations.

Gillibrand’s office told The Hill earlier this month that after a “full and thorough investigation” it found “employee misconduct that, while inappropriate, did not meet the standard for sexual harassment.” 

“We decided that because of some post-investigation human errors that future investigations should be done by our new chief of staff, who actually has experience in this area,” Gillibrand said Tuesday, referring to Joi Chaney who previously served in the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission during the Obama administration. 

“If there are ways to improve, we certainly will. We always have taken this seriously and investigated it thoroughly and treated every person who’s come forward with the respect and dignity they deserve.”

The New York Democrat also addressed her office's handling of the sexual harassment complaint during a town hall event on Monday night, saying that her former staffer was "believed." 

Gillibrand is running in a Democratic presidential primary field already crowded with over a dozen candidates. She has cast herself as a staunch ally of the #MeToo movement to combat sexual misconduct and has long advocated for reforming how major institutions handle such claims.