(Editor’s note: Late on Wednesday, Dec. 28, Rep. Dan Kirby rescinded the resignation he had announced days earlier. The following editorial was written after Kirby had announced he was resigning his seat.)
Yet another Republican member of the Oklahoma House of Representatives has announced his resignation. This time it’s Rep. Dan Kirby (R-Tulsa) who was outed as a first-rate creep by NewsOK’s Nolan Clay after the House paid $44,500 to a woman who said the legislator sexually harassed her.
From Clay’s reporting on the matter:
Bishop, 28, complained Kirby, 58, began sexually harassing her shortly after she started working for him in January 2015. She complained she was fired by the House without explanation on Nov. 20, 2015, in retaliation for reporting the harassment.
Her termination came two months after she reported the sexual harassment to the House general counsel and House human resources director.
The Oklahoman learned Friday a second former assistant has hired attorneys to possibly bring a similar claim.
Kirby’s resignation comes three weeks after Rep. Tom Newell (R-Seminole) announced he would be stepping down to pursue a job in the private sector.
While Newell’s announcement exhibits poor and selfish judgment, Kirby’s situation highlights the sort of ongoing, pernicious and repugnant treatment of women that became a major issue in the 2016 presidential election.
During that same election, Kirby defeated Democratic challenger Karen Gaddis by about 2,400 votes, though his sexual harassment settlement had not become public knowledge at the time.
Let’s talk about sex(ual harassment)
Kirby issued NewsOK a statement through his attorneys saying that he would not be commenting on the sexual harassment settlement “because this is a personnel matter.”
In other words, the less public discussion had about powerful men sexually harassing female state employees the better, eh Dan?
That’s where we come in, one supposes.
Women deserve better than Dan Kirby
To that end, Dan Kirby needs to be remembered roundly and soundly this legislative session. His disgusting name and his pig face ought to be emblazoned in dull bronze above every toilet in the House and Senate lounges.
The message to male legislators should be clear: “Don’t be this jackass.”
The women of your district deserve better than to be represented by an animal who exhibits restraint equal to that of a dog near a fire hydrant.