Friday, March 12, 2010
Scott Brown, the newly elected Republican Massachusetts senator who replaced the U.S. Senate seat held by the late Democratic icon Ted Kennedy for nearly fifty years, has a troubling history that includes sexual harassment.
In 2000, Brown was accused of sexually harassing a campaign worker during his 1998 run for city council office in Wrentham, MA.
According to Gawker’s Hamilton Nolan:
In 2000, Scott Brown was a freshman state representative in Massachusetts. A few years earlier, he’d served on the Wrentham Board of Selectmen. Jennifer Firth, a local mortgage banker who was elected to the Board of Selectmen in 1999, filed a civil defamation suit against Brown in July of 2000, alleging that he had harassed her when she worked on his campaign in 1998, and then tried to smear her reputation around town with forged letters and emails.
According to Firth’s complaint, Brown engaged in “offensive” conduct that caused her to quit his campaign; he then tried to “defame and humiliate” her by spreading rumors to her colleagues that she “had made sexual advances” towards him during his campaign. She also alleged that Brown told several people that he’d had an “intimate relationship” with her and that he had a stack of sexually explicit letters that Firth had sent him. In her suit, Firth says that she’d never been sexually intimate with Brown, nor did she ever send him the aforementioned letters.
The case then took a strange turn. Two days after the lawsuit was filed, Jennifer Firth’s lawyer, Harvey Schwartz, filed a motion to withdraw as her counsel, saying that “to the best of [Schwartz’s] knowledge, information and belief, the above allegations [by Firth] are not supported by ‘good grounds.'” The next day, Jennifer Firth withdrew her suit. It was dismissed with prejudice, which means it can never be re-filed. The day after she dropped her suit, Firth claimed she’d done so because “her lawyer told her she was unlikely to win it.”
Whether the merits of Firth’s original charges against Scott Brown are true or not, all beg the question: Why did state and national Democratic party leaders, as well as members of the local and national media, fail to even mention the fact that Brown had once been accused of sexual harassment and defamation in the myriad stories — including a naked photo spread in Cosmopolitan magazine, prior to Massachusetts’ special election in January?
Rahm Emanuel failed to feed this story to liberal media outlets in an effort to discredit Brown. Had the situation were flipped, and it had been a Democrat in a high-profile special election who had a harassment and defamation suit in his past, the story would have been a talking point on FIXED News and CNN for weeks.