Dow Is Down

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Did Dow really not do that thing that woman didn't accuse him of doing?
No, not Dow Constantine, the Dow Jones Industrial Average. It lost 250 points today, reports the Seattle Times.

Okay that's not why you're reading this post so let's get to the part with a hint of sex scandal. The other Dow might be down too, depending on how big conservative blog Sound Politics' influence is. In case you need a recap, Sound Politics has been all over a story wherein a woman who didn't file a sexual harassment claim against Constantine sought and received an injunction to stop the release of any records related to the investigation of that complaint she didn't file. Got that? A few updates:

King County Clerk Anne Noris sent over Seattle Times reporter Keith Ervin's request that launched this whole thing. Dated Oct. 20, he asked for "records relating to any complaints alleging inappropriate comments or behavior by County Councilmember Dow Constantine toward any employee."

When a records request is filed, anyone who might be impacted by it is notified and given the opportunity to try and block it via restraining order. A woman who is named only as "Jane Doe" asked a judge to do just that. Her motion requesting the restraining order reads:

Jane Doe, a King County employee, sought advice from her supervisor regarding a possible unfair practice under RCW 49.60. An informal process followed in which Ms. Doe was interviewed, asserted that she did not feel her employment was impacted by the possible unfair practice, and expressed her desire that the matter go no further. The interviewer eventually concluded that the matters discussed did not rise to a level requiring further investigation, and the matter was dropped.PDF

Supposedly, Ervin did receive some kind of a response before the restraining order went through, though Noris says the order bars her from re-releasing anything. And Ervin hasn't written a word on the subject.

Sound Politics is casting the involvement of Tyler Firkins, Jane Doe's attorney, as evidence that the whole thing must involve sexual harassment since Firkins has tried to block the release of names of employees investigated for sexual harassment in the past. But Firkins' specialty is more generally employee protection. He recently represented a former Kent teacher who says he was fired after the district failed to respond to requests for assistance due to his blindness. (That case is currently headed for mediation.)

In the restraining order signed Oct. 27, the judge specifically cites concerns over job security for Jane Doe as one of the reasons for blocking the records. The order he signed notes that Jane Doe could face "potential and immediate loss of employment and the future loss of employment prospects." [PDF]

In other words, nothing is conclusive about anything except that Jane Doe never filed any kind of formal complaint against Constantine. Whether or not this will influence the results Tuesday remains to be seen. Sound Politics was pretty much all anti-Obama all the time before last year's election and more than 70 percent of King County residents voted for the guy anyway.

 
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