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Warren campaign fires senior staffer for 'inappropriate behavior'

POLITICO logo POLITICO 10/4/2019 By Alex Thompson
Elizabeth Warren wearing a red shirt: Sen. Elizabeth Warren. © Ethan Miller/Getty Images Sen. Elizabeth Warren.

Elizabeth Warren’s presidential campaign has fired its national organizing director, Rich McDaniel, after an investigation into allegations of what it called “inappropriate behavior.”

“Over the past two weeks, senior campaign leadership received multiple complaints regarding inappropriate behavior by Rich McDaniel,” campaign spokesperson Kristen Orthman said in a statement after an inquiry from POLITICO Friday morning. “Over the same time period, the campaign retained outside counsel to conduct an investigation. Based on the results of the investigation, the campaign determined that his reported conduct was inconsistent with its values and that he could not be a part of the campaign moving forward.”

A person familiar with the investigation said that there were no reports of sexual assault, but could not comment further due to confidentiality. The investigation was conducted by attorney Kate Kimpel and her firm KK Advising, according to the person.

In a statement, McDaniel said, "I have separated from the campaign and am no longer serving as National Organizing Director. I have tremendous respect for my colleagues despite any disagreements we may have had and believe departing at this time is in the best interest of both parties.

"I would never intentionally engage in any behavior inconsistent with the campaign or my own values. If others feel that I have, I understand it is important to listen even when you disagree. I wish the campaign and my colleagues well."

As part of her investigation, Kimpel conducted interviews and did so without campaign senior staff present. Kimpel is also a co-founder of Ramona Strategies, a female-owned firm that specializes in workplace safety and sexual harassment.

McDaniel was one of the first hires announced by the campaign and was paid at the level of other senior staffers. He worked as the primary states regional director for Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign and the field and political director for Sen. Doug Jones 2017 upset victory in Alabama.

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