For Immediate Release
January 19, 2017
Angela Allmond, Communications Director
Oklahoma Democratic Party
Second Legislative Assistant Alleges Sexual Harassment Against Kirby
OKLAHOMA CITY – The Oklahoma Democratic Party is deeply troubled by continued efforts on behalf of the Republican-run Special Investigation Committee to conduct their investigation in private as another sexual harassment claim is made against Representative Kirby (R-75).
The second allegation made by former legislative assistant Carol Johnson follows a settled sexual harassment claim made earlier by another legislative assistant to Kirby. Johnson told The Oklahoman that “It made me feel terrible,” and “You feel very ashamed. … It makes you doubt your worth.”
The public deserves to know why state funds from a maintenance account were used to quietly settle the initial sexual harassment claim and why the House continues to hold a partisan investigation into the use of these House funds behind-closed-doors. All three Democrats appointed to the committee have refused to sign a non-disclosure agreement, citing lack of transparency on the panel’s part.
Representative David Perryman, D-Chickasha, announced that he would not sign the confidentiality agreement branding it essentially a “gag order” and stating that it “undermines the independence that I have as a legislator.” Representative Steve Kouplen, D-Beggs, informed the panel’s chairman, that he would be absent “due to the requirement of signing a non-disclosure agreement.” Kouplen explained, “I served on a previous investigation with basically the same rules and non-disclosure agreement, and did not believe it provided the transparency that was expected or deserved.”
Oklahomans deserve to know how the House is conducting the investigation into why their tax dollars were quietly spent on a sexual harassment settlement and not kept in the dark by a process. A second sexual harassment claim against Kirby should prompt the Special Investigation Committee to make these proceedings public and demonstrate the House’s desire for a clean and transparent investigative process.
The mission of the Oklahoma Democratic Party is to represent working people in Oklahoma and the best way to accomplish that is to elect Democrats to all areas of government. Oklahoma Democrats are progressive and sensible. We are optimistic about the future, and we are determined to see Oklahoma’s traditional values upheld. More information about the Oklahoma Democratic Party can be found at www.okdlive.wpengine.com or by calling (405) 427-3366.