Florida Democratic Party president accused of 'enabling' chair's inappropriate behavior – Florida Politics (blog)
As Florida Democratic Party Chairman Stephen Bittel resigns in disgrace, the state party’s president, Sally Boynton Brown, came short of defending his inappropriate behavior toward women by saying she never experienced it and that she was “heartbroken” women did not feel comfortable coming to her with complaints.
But two former staffers, who asked Florida Politics to not identify them for fear of getting a bad reputation in the political process, said Brown was well-aware of Bittel’s systematic workplace misconduct, which included him asking women about their sex lives on a daily basis. The former staffers said Brown enabled his behavior.
“He would do it in front of Sally,” one woman said. “He was really into talking about sex, and if you went along with his conversations he would be more amicable to working with you.”
The women, who are in their 20s, said it was their impression that Bittel’s behavior worsened after she took the job in May because she allowed it to go on.
“He would say, ‘at your age you must be having lots of sex,’” one woman said. “He was very systematic with this and he would only say it in front of women.”
In a letter to party members, though, Brown said she never experienced it and that he always treated her with as a “full-partner.”
“In my experience, Chairman Bittel has been refreshingly open to feedback, given by myself and others, about his conversational style and modified his approached when he learned that others found it off-putting.” Brown said in a letter to party members.
The women said they were “furious” at Brown’s letter because she put the responsibility on victims to come forward when she knew about the misconduct as a top staffer and