Fla. Congressman Accused of Sexual Harassment

Former aide files suit against Democrat Alcee Hastings
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 8, 2011 1:40 AM CST
Florida Rep. Alcee Hastings Accused of Sexual Harassment
"In a race with a lie, the truth always wins. And when the truth comes to light and the personal agendas of my accusers are exposed, I will be vindicated," Hastings said.   (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

(Newser) – Florida congressman Alcee Hastings is being sued by a former aide who accuses the Democrat of sexually harassing her over a 2-year period. The lawsuit, filed by conservative group Judicial Watch on behalf of Winsome Packer, accuses Hastings of making unwelcome sexual advances, including asking about her underwear and subjecting her to frequent unwanted hugs, the Washington Post reports.

The alleged harassment occurred when Hastings was co-chairman of the US Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe, also known as the Helsinki Commission. Packer says that she was "marginalized" in her job because she reported Hastings' behavior, and because she was a Republican working for the Democrat-dominated commission. Hastings, currently serving his 10th term in the House, firmly denies the accusations. "I have never sexually harassed anyone," he said in a statement. "I am insulted that these ludicrous allegations are being made against me." (Read more Alcee Hastings stories.)

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