Washington, DC – Democratic congressional candidate Andrea Ramsey announced on Friday that she has dropped out of the U.S. House of Representatives race over allegations that she sexually harassed a man whom she formerly supervised.
According to The Kansas City Star, Ramsey, 56, supervised Gary Funkhouser while she was employed as the executive vice president of human resources at LabOne.
In a complaint to the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the former LabOne human resources manager alleged that Ramsey subjected him to “unwelcome inappropriate sexual comments and innuendos” beginning in September, 2004.
Funkhouser said that Ramsey also made sexual advances towards him during a business trip in March, 2005, and that she retaliated against him when he rejected her.
“After I told her I was not interested in having a sexual relationship with her, she stopped talking to me,” he wrote, according to The Kansas City Star. “In the office she completely ignored me and avoided having any contact with me.”
Funkhouser said he was terminated from his position at LabOne on Jun. 13, 2005, and that he subsequently sued the company in federal court.
The suit was settled in 2006, and the case was dismissed, The New York Times reported.
Ramsey attempted to defend herself on Facebook on Friday.
“Twelve years ago, I eliminated an employee’s position,” Ms. Ramsey wrote. “That man decided to bring a lawsuit against the company (not against me). He named me in the allegations, claiming I fired him because he refused to have sex with me. That is a lie.”
Ramsey also lashed out at the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, who opted to abandon her campaign when the sexual harassment allegations resurfaced.
“In its rush to claim the high ground in our roiling national conversation about harassment, the Democratic Party has implemented a zero tolerance standard,” Ramsey said, according to Business Insider.
“For me, that means a vindictive, terminated employee’s false allegations are enough for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) to decide not to support our promising campaign,” she continued. “We are in a national moment where rough justice stands in place of careful analysis, nuance and due process.”
Ramsey claimed that she was unaware of the settlement, because the company – not her specifically – was the party named in the suit.
“Had those allegations, those false allegations, been brought against me directly instead of the company I would have fought to exonerate my name. I never would’ve settled,” Ramsey said. “And I would have sued the disgruntled, vindictive employee for defamation.”