Hillary Clinton chose not to fire an adviser to her 2008 presidential campaign who was accused of sexual harassment, the New York Times reported Friday.
Burns Strider, Clinton’s faith adviser, was accused of harassing a younger female aide. Clinton’s campaign manager recommended that he be fired, and Clinton declined. Instead, he was docked several weeks of pay and required to undergo counseling, and the subordinate was moved to another job.
Strider, the married founder of the American Values Network, would send Clinton daily scripture readings during the campaign. The 30-year-old aide shared an office with Strider. She initially brought her complaint to Jess O’Connell, the director of operations for the campaign. She said that Strider “had rubbed her shoulders inappropriately, kissed her on the forehead and sent her a string of suggestive emails, including at least one during the night, according to three former campaign officials familiar with what took place,” the Times reported.
O’Connell approached Clinton and told her Strider should be fired. Clinton said she didn’t want to. His salary then was docked and the aide was transferred to a job reporting to deputy campaign manager Mike Henry.
Clinton maintained ties with Strider throughout the years. In 2013, Strider was hired to lead Correct the Record, an independent group that supported Clinton’s 2016 candidacy. He was later fired for “workplace issues,” including accusations he harassed a young female aide, the Times reports.
A spokesman for Utrecht, Kleinfeld, Fiori & Partners, the law firm that had represented the campaign in 2008, issued a statement on Friday. “To ensure a safe working environment, the campaign had a process to address complaints of misconduct or harassment. When matters arose, they were reviewed in accordance with these policies, and appropriate action was taken,” it said. “This complaint was no exception.”
Late last year, Clinton responded to the many accusations of sexual misconduct by Harvey Weinstein, a major Democratic donor and longtime friend. She said in a statement she was “shocked and appalled by the allegations.”