Kamala Harris Takes ‘Full Responsibility’ for Staffer Who Resigned Over Sexual Harassment Allegations

• January 9, 2019 7:36 pm


Sen. Kamala Harris (D., Calif.), who is mulling a 2020 presidential bid, on Wednesday took "full responsibility" for the allegations of sexual harassment against her longtime aide Larry Wallace, who resigned last month.

CNN host Jake Tapper asked Harris how she did not know about the alleged incidents of harassment and what she learned from the episode.

"It was a very painful experience to know that something could happen in one's office—of almost 5,000 people, granted—but that I didn't know about it," Harris said. "That being said, I take full responsibility for anything that has happened in my office. I always do and I always will. The buck stops with me."

Wallace began working for Harris when she was district attorney of San Francisco. When Harris entered the California Department of Justice and eventually the U.S. Senate, she brought in Wallace as a top aide.

Harris writes approvingly of Wallace in her new book The Truths We Hold, which was released on Tuesday.

Wallace resigned last month after it was revealed that a woman was paid a $400,000 settlement by the state of California after she complained about consistent harassment by Wallace, according to the Sacramento Bee.

The woman, his executive assistant, said Wallace put his printer under his desk and frequently ordered her to crawl under the desk to put paper in it while she was wearing skirts and dresses. Wallace repeatedly refused her requests for the printer to be moved elsewhere and made her change the paper when there were other men watching in his office, according to the woman.

The lawsuit was filed when Harris was still attorney general of California. A settlement was reached by Harris' successor in May 2017, after Harris had hired Wallace to be a senior adviser in her Senate office.

Harris accepted Wallace's resignation immediately and said she was "unaware" of the harassment claim and takes "accusations of harassment extremely seriously."

Harris made no attempt to expunge Wallace from her book, but bemoaned her ignorance of his behavior while speaking on CNN.

"It makes a clear point that even in the office of someone who is an advocate for women's rights and all people's rights, there is no office that is immune from this kind of behavior," Harris said. "And that's something we're going to have to deal with."