South Florida's Congressional delegation doesn't seem to receive praise too often. That would include this week's report from the right-wing organization Judicial Watch, which named Washington's ten "most corrupt politicians."
Perhaps not too surprisingly, Rep. Alcee Hastings -- along with Miami Rep. David Rivera -- made the list.
Now, shortly after being labeled as the poorest member of Congress with millions of dollars worth of legal liabilities, the sexual-harassment allegations against Hastings earned him a spot on Judicial Watch's list.
Judicial Watch is actually the organization that filed the lawsuit against Hastings on behalf of Winsome Packer, claiming Hastings was a bit too touchy-feely with the former staffer.
According to the complaint Judicial Watch filed, "Mr. Hastings' intention was crystal clear: he was sexually attracted to Ms. Packer, wanted a sexual relationship with her, and would help progress her career if she acquiesced to his sexual advances."
Judicial Watch alleges these "sexual advances" included the following:
"Making multiple demands that Ms. Packer allow Rep. Hastings to stay in her apartment while she served as the Commission's lead staff representative overseas; subjecting Ms. Packer to unwanted physical contact, including hugging her with both arms while pressing his body against her body and his face against her face; inviting her on multiple occasions to accompany him alone to his hotel room; making sexual comments and references to Ms. Packer; and asking Ms. Packer humiliating and inappropriate questions in public, such as 'What kind of underwear are you wearing?'"
The House Ethics Committee will announce early next year whether it will launch a full investigation into the complaint against Hastings.
Judicial Watch also notes that Hastings was among six lawmakers who were questioned about using government coin for travel expenses.
Not included in Judicial Watch's explanation was that Hastings' former aide Mikel Jones was convicted on 30 charges in a fraud case this year.
The other eight politicians on the list are Rep. Spencer Bachus, Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr., Rep. Maxine Waters, Rep. Don Young, Rep. Laura Richardson, former Sen. John Ensign, President Obama, and Attorney General Eric Holder.
Keep New Times Broward-Palm Beach Free... Since we started New Times Broward-Palm Beach, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of South Florida, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering South Florida with no paywalls.