State Senator Sharon Hewitt of Slidell is asking for a full audit of the state’s sexual harassment policies including the hiring of Johnny Anderson who served as the governor’s chief of staff for programming and planning. Anderson resigned last week amid accusations of sexual harassment. Hewitt says Anderson’s past is easy to find and wonders why Governor Edwards hired him in the first place.
"One that either he was returning a political favor to someone who helped get him elected or he failed to do a simple five minute Google search on Anderson, because there's a lot of information out there."
Anderson was previously accused of harassment in 2007 when he was the chairman of the Southern University Board of Supervisors. Governor Edwards chief of staff Mark Cooper says previous investigations regarding sexual harassment claims against Anderson did not conclude any wrongdoing. But Hewitt says the Governor didn’t seem too concerned about the previous accusations.
"In a recent interview, Mr. Anderson even said the governor never did ask him about the past allegations. I think this is poor leadership by the governor."
Hewitt says with all the recent sexual misconduct allegations in government and entertainment, it’s a good time to make sure there are policies in place to keep sexual harassment at bay. That is why she is asking Legislative Auditor Daryl Purpera to conduct a full performance audit.
"I think that this very timely that we look at our policies and look for opportunities to strengthen them."