$1.75 Million Settlement Now Official for State Worker Fired After Reporting Sexual Harassment

DES MOINES, Iowa  --  "Aye." "Aye." "Aye." On Monday afternoon, the three members of the State Appeal Board officially said yes to a compromise settlement for Kirsten Anderson, the former communications director for the Senate Republican Caucus staff, who got fired in 2013 after detailing to her bosses the sexual harassment she suffered on the job.

The three members--Democratic State Treasurer Mike Fitzgerald, Republican State Auditor Mary Mosiman and Department of Budget Director Dave Roederer--approved the $1.75 million agreement during their monthly meeting.

A judge originally awarded Anderson $2.2 million in damages at trial. But both sides agreed to a lower settlement, rather than go through the appeals process.

Fitzgerald questioned why taxpayers should have to pay the settlement, since the incidents occurred with Senate Republican staff. "Outraged and appalled that we have to pay this kind of settlement," Fitzgerald said.

The Senate Republican staff are state employees, not workers from the Republican Party of Iowa.

Mosiman apologized on behalf of state government for what happened to Anderson. She said, "I feel the need to apologize not to just Ms. Anderson but to the people of Iowa that this has happened. That shouldn't happen. Discrimination and harassment shouldn't happen."

One Senate Republican staffer, who Anderson said had harassed her, resigned last month.