MEL WATT: ‘If I kissed that [tattoo] would it lead to more?’…
(Joshua Paladino, Liberty Headlines) Officials from the U.S. Postal Service began an investigation into claims that former Rep. Mel Watt, D-North Carolina, sexually harassed a female employee.
The female staffer accused Watt, who now serves as Director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency, of making inappropriate sexual advances on three separate occasions, Politico reported.
The investigation has tapes and transcripts of conversations between Watt and the employee.
In a 2016 business meeting, the transcripts show Watt making the discussion romantic.
“Well, you probably want to know what I wanted to talk to you about,” Watt said. “I mentioned to you there is an attraction here that I think needs to be explored. In my experience there are four types of attraction: emotional, spiritual, sexual or of friendship. So, the exercise here is to find out which one exists here.”
During another encounter, Watt asked about a tattoo on the woman’s ankle and asked, “If I kissed that one would it lead to more?”
The employee filed a complaint under the Equal Employment Opportunity Act.
She said she was denied a promotion because she refused Watt’s sexual advances.
Watt denied any illegal activity in a statement, The Charlotte Observer reported.
“The selective leaks related to this matter are obviously intended to embarrass or to lead to an unfounded or political conclusion,” Watt said. “However, I am confident that the investigation currently in progress will confirm that I have not done anything contrary to law. I will have no further comment while the investigation is in progress.”
But the employee’s lawyer, Diane Seltzer Torre, said the investigation is not about politics.
“My client did not submit information to the media. She is not looking for attention and doesn’t want to talk to the media,” Torre said.
The Charlotte Observer reported that it is typical for an outside agency, such as the U.S. Postal Service, to conduct an investigation into an employee of another agency.
Watt previously spent two decades in Congress from 1993 to 2014.
As a representative, he introduced a bill to cut 40 percent from the Office of Congressional Ethics.