Former Employee Sues Rep. Hastings for Sexual Harassment

According to the New York Daily News, Florida congressman Alice Hastings is being sued by a former aide for sexual harassment. Winsome Packer filed a lawsuit with the help from a conservative legal group, alleging Hastings made unwelcome sexual advances and asked questions about her underwear.

Hastings, a 74-year-old divorce father of three, denies allegations, calling the lawsuit a political attack. Hastings is a Democrat, while Packer is a Republican who was a staff member of the Democrat-controlled U.S. Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe. Hastings served as the chairman at the time.

Packed filed her complaint in the U.S. District Court in Washington. She claims she was forced to endure unwelcome sexual advances and crude sexual comments, as well as improper touching. The alleged sexual harassment lasted almost two years.

Besides asking Packer about what underwear she was wearing, Hastings allegedly tried to invite himself to her hotel room. Packer named Fred Turner, the commission’s former staff director, in her lawsuit, alleging he threatened to fire her if she continued to object to the politician’s conduct.

In court documents, Packer claims she was particularly vulnerable as a Republican in a Democrat-controlled commission. The alleged sexual harassment lead to insomnia, anxiety and other emotional issues. Packer felt forced to leave her position after multiple threats to her job with the panel.

Hastings left the position after Democrats lost control of the House. He is vehemently denying all allegations of sexual harassment and claims the complaint contained numerous inaccuracies and untruths.