Several female staffers in Rep. Mark Meadows’ office complained that his chief of staff was sexually harassing them several months before the North Carolina Republican dismissed him and paid him a severance package that’s currently under investigation by the House Ethics Committee.
POLITICO reported last September that Meadows may have violated House rules when he continued paying top staffer Kenny West after he left the job. West was originally reported to have left his position on May 21, 2015 — though new documents released on Wednesday indicate his departure may have happened much earlier. He was paid through August 15.
A Meadows spokeswoman at the time said the pay was for “vacation and severance”— something several House sources said didn’t appear to be in line with the House Ethics Manual, which says, “compensation may be received only for duties performed within the preceding month.”
However, new documents released by the House Ethics Committee Wednesday, suggest the severance issue wasn’t the only problem in Meadows’ office regarding West. According to a March 18 referral to the committee by the Office of Congressional Ethics, several women came to Meadows’ deputy chief of staff in the fall of 2014 with complains that West was mistreating them.
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“In October 2014, a group of employees in Representative Meadows’ Washington, DC office reported to the then-Deputy Chief of Staff that they were uncomfortable with Mr. West’s inappropriate behavior towards them,” the OCE referral states.
Meadows learned of the matter soon after, the referral says. According to the OCE, Meadows’ office told West not to come to office anymore in October 2014, though he wasn’t formally terminated at the time. Multiple witnesses told the OCE that Meadows’ office “took actions to limit or prohibit Kenny West’s presence in the Washington, DC …