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Clinton 'regrets' not firing aide in sexual harassment case


IANS Washington
Hillary Clinton has expressed regret for not firing a senior adviser on her 2008 presidential campaign who was accused of repeatedly sexually harassing a subordinate.
In a Facebook post on Tuesday, moments before US President Donald Trump began his State of the Union address, Clinton sought to explain her decision to deliver a less severe punishment to Burns Strider, who was her faith adviser, despite a recommendation from her campaign manager that Strider be fired.
"I very much understand the question I'm being asked as to why I let an employee on my 2008 campaign keep his job despite his inappropriate workplace behaviour," Clinton wrote. "The short answer is this: If I had it to do again, I wouldn't."
The 30-year-old woman who made the complaint shared an office with Strider, the New York Times said when it broke the story of the claims last week.
It said that, according to three former campaign officials, she had complained that Strider had rubbed her shoulders inappropriately, kissed her on the forehead and sent suggestive emails.
When her complaint was investigated, two advisers, including her campaign manager, recommended Strider to be sacked, but instead Clinton moved her to a new role, while Strider stayed in place, the Washington Post reported.
Clinton said that the woman's complaint was taken seriously and that she decided on a more lenient punishment which included demoting Strider, docking his pay and separating him from the woman as well as putting in place "technical barriers to his emailing her."
Clinton said she decided to do so "because I didn't think firing him was the best solution to the problem".
"He needed to be punished, change his behaviour and understand why his actions were wrong.
"I thought both could happen without him losing his job," Clinton wrote. She said she also "reached out" to the woman in question.
Clinton said that she also believed in "second chances."
Six years after, Strider was hired again to help lead an independent group, Correct the Record, that supported Clinton's 2016 presidential candidacy.
He was eventually fired from that position after similar complaints, which included kissing women on the head and aggressively inquiring into details of their personal lives, according to a person close to the organization's management.

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First Published: Jan 31 2018 | 6:52 PM IST

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