Even though there has been very little news coverage on Rep. Hastings sexual harassment case, the suit is moving forward due to the D.C. courts ruling the case under Bivens. Bivens is a route for citizens to seek monetary damages for Constitutional civil rights violations by the government or it’s representatives. This ruling will make the only defendants of the case the U.S. Commission on Security in Europe.
Winsome Packer filed the sexual harassment complaint, claiming that Rep. Hastings gave her unwanted sexual touching, and other advances. She is also claiming that Hastings retaliated against her once the complaint was made. The D.C. courts instituted the Bivens act on February 14, Valentines Day.
A powerful and feared public interest group has stepped in on behalf of Winsome Packer, responded to the courts Bivens movement by saying that the congressman is no less guilty of the crime even though his name his no longer on the defendant nameplate. The group went on to say that they are sure this is just a procedure to see in which direction their case will be heard. They are positive that when the evidence is released, Rep. Hastings will be served with the full strength of the justice system.
Ms. Packer is claiming that over a two-year period, Rep. Hastings sexually harassed her with unwelcome advances and sexually touches. She is also claiming in the lawsuit that the Helsinki Commission Director helped Hastings retaliate against her when she rejected the Congressman's advances.
The Congressional ethics committee gives this some credibility by admitting that there is good reason to believe Rep. Hastings was committing a crime and violating Mrs. Packer’s civil rights. Hastings has grown accustomed to scandal in his office, so this may not be something that worries him too much.
President Carter appointed Hastings as Florida's first black American Judge. He served that position until 1989, when a flurry of allegations involving a judge's two cardinal sins, perjury and bribery. President Carter, and the rest of the Democrat controlled Congress, agreed to evict Hastings from his seat as judge.
Hastings said the proceedings against him were bound with racism, but another black American, Rep. John Conyers-D, and a founding member of the CBC, disagreed with the racism comment. He said he couldn't see nor find any a of racism in the Congressionally charged allegations against him.
The US Congress claimed Hastings accepted a $150,000 bribe to give a lenient sentence and then lied about it the incident when asked. This led to the eventual impeachment of Hastings as a Judge of any kind. The Congress had the option right there to rule that he never serves in a public office again, but they didn't.
Hastings ran for Congress and won, leading the government to the situation he is in now. The Judicial Watch has agreed that, given his past and current evidence against him, he has committed conduct unbecoming of a Congressman, violating house rules and Constitutional laws that he swore to honor and protect.