The City of Troy, New York, "Where Henry Hudson Turned Around."

Thursday, August 07, 2008


The New York State Division of Human Rights has dismissed Colleen Regan's claims of sexual harassment. Regan claimed that high-level GOP functionary, Richard Crist, had made numerous sexual advances which, when turned down, led to Regan's termination as a GOP staffer for the County Legislature.

According to The Record:

The division found that of the 20 alleged incidents claimed by Regan only two were within the statutory period. And, it found, Crist was not her supervisor, as Regan had claimed.

So, what happened? It looks like 18 of the allegations occurred too long ago to be acted upon. More importantly, the Division of Human Rights determined that Crist was not Regan's supervisor.

See, in legal terms, you can only properly harass someone if you have some type of authority over that person. Sexual advances made towards a fellow co-worker, no matter how inappropriate, is not harassment because the 'harasser' can not retaliate against the harasee. In the case of co-workers, such behavior is consider 'acting creepy' or, in some rural places, 'going a courtin.'

The Division of Human Rights obviously ignored the political reality in county government, where politics blurs the chain of command. They also ignore the fact that many women do not report this conduct for fear of being fired or labeled a troublemaker. The lesson here is report the conduct to the appropriate person, in writing, close in time to the incident. If no action is taken, move up the chain of command. If there is retaliation for making the report, that retaliation can form a seperate basis for a suit.

The Troy Polloi did not cover the harassment side of Regan's story. Unlike some, we refuse to accuse someone of sexual harassment without any evidence. Regan had her side of the story, Crist his and only those two know the truth. Those who claim "Crist didn't do it' or 'Regan is telling the truth,' are merely guessing.

Crist said he is keeping open the possibility of suing Regan for making the false claims against him but added "there are more important things for us to focus on."

Crist won't sue Regan. He'd face the same problem Regan faced: He said/She said. Regan can still sue as well. She won't.

We're far more interested in the following:

In an unrelated matter, Regan charged that Crist, Mirch and others used the county office building and county employees to run their own political consulting business. Albany District Attorney David Soares was appointed special prosecutor but there is no new information on the case.

No comments: