New Jersey's 21st Legislative District

Senator Tom Kean, Jr.

Senator Tom Kean

Kean: Trenton Needs to Focus on Fighting Culture of Sexual Harassment

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Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean said leaders in Trenton need to focus on fighting a culture of sexual harassment in response to a published report detailing women’s stories of abuse while working in the world of New Jersey politics.

Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean said leaders in Trenton need to focus on fighting a culture of sexual harassment in response to a published report detailing women’s stories of abuse while working in the world of New Jersey politics.

“Whenever you start to think we’ve made progress in improving the culture in Trenton, a story like this comes out that proves you wrong,” said Kean. “It’s clear that a much greater focus needs to be placed on addressing the epidemic of sexual harassment and assault to protect everyone who works in New Jersey government, politics, and government affairs. Senate Republicans are ready to continue our efforts through the LSOC or another forum to put an end to the epidemic of sexual harassment that continues to victimize too many women in New Jersey.

“Recognizing the importance of assuring that all are protected from harassment and discrimination, the Legislature adopted a new Anti-Discrimination and Harassment policy in September 2018 that addresses the issue head-on and offers a forum to protect those who have been harassed,” added Kean, a sponsor of the resolution, SCR-140.

The New Jersey Legislative Select Oversight Committee (LSOC) continued to work on this important issue and released a report in June offering recommendations to reform the process of reporting and acting upon complaints of sexual harassment and discrimination by government employees and those working on gubernatorial transitions.

Several of those recommendations became legislation that was adopted by both houses of the Legislature in recent weeks. Those bills are pending Governor Murphy’s approval to become law.

The LSOC’s report stemmed from a bipartisan investigation into the Governor’s handling of an alleged sexual assault by a key member of his campaign. The alleged victim, Ms. Katie Brennan, also served on the Governor’s campaign.

“It opened the eyes of many people in Trenton when an insider with access to the highest levels of state government, including the Governor himself, couldn’t find the justice she sought for an alleged sexual assault,” added Kean. “We’re concerned that Ms. Brennan’s experience may discourage other victims from coming forward to tell their stories, which appears to be the case based on the recent reports. It’s clear there’s still more work for us to do. “

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