For Immediate Release: March 13, 2018
STATEMENT BY SENATOR CHERYL KAGAN
The videotape from Castlebay’s security camera confirms my allegation against lobbyist Gil Genn. Contrary to his three-page denial, the footage clearly shows him placing a hand on my back and sliding it down my body. He explicitly claimed that he had his belongings, including a wet coat and umbrella, in his arms; that he did not touch me, even to shake my hand; and that we only spoke for ten seconds. I feel vindicated that each and every aspect of Mr. Genn’s denial was revealed to be false.
Women who are harassed, groped, or assaulted rarely get access to undeniable evidence. It’s a “she said, he said.” They may be called “delusional.” Or worse. I am grateful to have videotaped evidence proving my account to be true.
Initially, this was a story about a lobbyist who put his hand where it was not welcome. Today, it’s about integrity, honesty, and reputation. In politics, you are only as good as your word.
This incident underscores the importance that those who work directly or indirectly with the General Assembly– including lobbyists, not just legislators and staff– must be covered within the scope of our sexual harassment laws. HB1342/SB1138 would do this, as well as add independent investigators to assess allegations and establish meaningful consequences for those who are found to have acted inappropriately or illegally.
I look forward to moving past this incident. For the next 28 days, I hope to focus exclusively on my 9-1-1 public safety legislation; consumer protection measures; the State’s budget; and other key legislative priorities that affect Gaithersburg, Rockville, and the rest of the State. It is my fervent hope that we have begun to change the culture in Annapolis. Women should be treated with respect, as professionals. I am hopeful that before too long, the hashtag #MeToo will no longer apply in Annapolis or anywhere else.