Nov 21, 11:39 AM EST

Ex-GOP lawmaker to help Senate GOP office over harassment


DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) -- A former Republican state senator will be brought in as an adviser to help the GOP-controlled chamber improve its workplace culture following sexual harassment allegations.

Senate Majority Leader Bill Dix announced Tuesday that Mary Kramer will assist his office "in their efforts to improve workplace culture."

It's unclear when Kramer, who served in the state Senate from 1990 to 2003 and was later an ambassador to Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean, will start and what the scope of her work will include.

Senate GOP officials have refused to release findings from an internal investigation into harassment claims in the office that arose amid a trial involving a former staffer. The staffer said she was fired for reporting harassment in the office. A jury sided with her and the state later agreed to pay $1.75 million as part of a settlement.

Dix, a Shell Rock Republican, originally said he would seek outside counsel to review the issue and it would involve a bidding process. It's unclear why that changed.

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