The New York Daily News is reporting that Florida Rep. Alcee Hastings, 74, has been sued by former aide, Winsome Packer, for sexual harassment. The suit was announced on Monday on behalf of Packer by conservative group Judicial Watch. Hastings is accused of touching Winsome, making unwelcome sexual advances and asking about her underwear. Hastings "vehemently" denied the allegations. saying that it is a political attack.
Packer, a Republican, was a staff member of the Democrat-controlled U.S. Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe. Hastings was the chairman at the time. In the lawsuit, Packer tells of an incident in which Hastings said in front of several staffers that he couldn't understand how women in Congress could wear the same underwear from the time the House of Representatives went into session in the morning until it recessed at night. He then allegedly asked Packer what kind of underwear she was wearing. The suit also alleges that Hastings and a former staffer threated to fire Packer because she wouldn't respond to his unwanted advances.
Judicial Watch is suing Hastings for monetary relief, arguing that Packer suffered from health problems — including insomnia, anxiety and depression — as a result of the alleged sexual harassment. She was forced to leave her job, the suit says.
Wow, and we thought the Etta James story was drama-filled. Being brought up on charges of sexual harassment is not a good look, whether Hastings is actually guilty or being "attacked" or set up, as he alleges. Hastings, who was elected in 1992, has had a long career. Time will tell if this allegation ends it.
Read more at the Daily News.
In other news: Family War Continues Over Etta James' Fortune.