Rep. Brenda Lawrence's chief of staff resigns amid sexual harassment claims

Posted at 1:29 PM, Nov 16, 2017
and last updated 2017-11-16 14:43:05-05

The chief of staff for Michigan Rep. Brenda Lawrence has resigned following sexual harassment allegations that came to light last week.

In a statement released to 7 Action News, Lawrence said she accepted Duron Marshall's decision to resign.

"I will move forward with an investigation focused on the current and future climate of our workplace environment," she said in the statement.

"It is my goal to establish a clearly defined communication process as it relates to employee concerns. Through this workplace assessment, I intend to establish an office environment that would be a model for offices on Capitol Hill.  No employee should ever be made to feel intimidated, harassed or otherwise discriminated against in their place of work. Every employee should feel free to present their concerns with the expectation that those concerns will be quickly and directly addressed and resolved. I look forward to using the results of this assessment to meet these very important goals." 

The anonymous reports of sexual harassment emerged in a Politico report last week. The article cited three former aides who left the lawmakers office after reporting a variety of concerns about the behavior of Dwayne Duron Marshall.

He released this statement:

After thoughtful consideration, I submitted my letter of resignation and retirement to Congresswoman Lawrence on November 13, 2017. Working with Mrs. Lawrence in her Congressional Office has been a highlight in my career that spans nearly three decades. I look forward to her continued success on behalf of her constituents and the American people. My future endeavors will continue in a new opportunity in the private sector. I thank Congresswoman Lawrence for the opportunity to serve her office.

Lawrence is the Democratic Congresswoman for Michigan’s 14th District.  The allegations come just weeks after Lawrence introduced the Congressional Sexual Harassment Training Act, which would require every congressional office to enroll employees in training to prevent sexual harassment.

Last week, she issued a statement she didn't know about the sexual harassment allegations.