Ed Carter and sexual harassment charges - another Post and Courier hit job

In recent weeks, the folks at the Charleston Post and Courier seem to be on a mission to attack and smear Republican candidates. Their latest victim: House District 97 GOP nominee Ed Carter.

The Blogland hasn't always been nice to Carter, but unlike the Post and Courier, anything said about him on this website going to be honest and evidence will be presented to discuss the issues of concern in their proper context. 

Yesterday's attempt to dredge up an old sexual harassment allegation was sloppy and uniformed at best and malicious at worst. To help understand what's really up with this issue, I'll take off my political hat and put on my professional human resources hat.

Based upon my professional experience, I will say that Carter is not a sexual harasser. If you'd like to get my take, keep reading.

For starters, the Blogland has had this story since the spring, but has refused to discuss it. The first reason being that issues of personal nature are generally off-limits on the blog as they tend to draw attention from more relevant ones. The second is that it seemed hard to assume sexual harassment based upon what we saw. 

Sexual harassment is a serious issue in the workplace and one which can be very costly for an organization - both as a result of inappropriate conduct, as well as the result of actions taken by those who are alleging the conduct.

However, in the absence of specific evidence, such as photos, e-mails or phone messages, it's a matter of one person's word against another. In such instances, people who made unintentional lapses in judgment while meaning no harm are more likely to confess than a hard-core sexual harasser, who will deny and find new targets until several victims band together, which then generally constitutes evidence by which to nail the creep. 

In response to a "whoops" kind of admission by those who meant no harm, employer often push such offenders overboard to send a "zero tolerance" message to their workforce as well as mitigate potential legal damages. Twenty years ago, Carter admitted to making an inappropriate comment to a female officer in a single instance.

After that confession, which was alleged to have ended Carter's military career (which to me would seem like punishment enough), he went on to serve as the administrator of Dorchester County government. In the last twenty years, no allegations of sexual harassment have surfaced. If Carter had been the type to sexually harass co-workers, it would have happened again and more complaints would have surfaced. 

So is Ed Carter a lecherous creep who intimidates women in the workplace, either by abusive talk or demanding sexual favors? Based upon my professional experience and the evidence I've seen, I say "No" - which is why I passed on the story.

Before running this story, the Post and Courier would have done well to actually talk with those who deal with sexual harassment issues and try to understand the issue. For not attempting to get the lowdown on a pretty serious issue, they owe him an apology and their readers an even bigger one.

1 Response to "Ed Carter and sexual harassment charges - another Post and Courier hit job"

  1. Nancy Hicks 12/10/12 13:25
    The Post and Courier is doing its best to malign Republican candidates during this election cycle. When the Democrats couldn't discourage all of our candidates from running, the P & C is helping to roll out any dirt they can in the final weeks. I'm not even sure it deserves to be called fishwrap anymore, it's simply devolved to a level of professionalism and relevance usually attributed to FITSNews.

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