Congressman calls on Trump to pull nomination of Barry Myers to head NOAA

A high-ranking House Democrat called on Wednesday, 13 February, for the Trump administration to withdraw the nomination of Barry Myers to lead NOAA after reports showed his former company paid USD 290,000 (EUR 256,832) in a settlement of sexual harassment claims that happened during his time as its chief executive officer.

Earlier this week, the Centre Daily Times reported the Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs determined AccuWeather created a hostile work environment for women. Four women, who left the company between 1 January, 2014, and 21 December, 2017, have already claimed awards. More than 30 other former employees have agreed to the settlement. 

In response, U.S. Rep. Raul Grijalva, D-Arizona, called on President Trump to pull Myers, citing NOAA’s own history sexual harassment and assault claims. The chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee said in a statement he hopes a new nominee would be able to “improve the agency’s troubling record” on maintaining a safe work environment. 

“Federal employees have been subjected to the president’s unpopular ideas about sexual harassment and women in the workplace for the past two years,” Grijalva said. “Trump’s nomination of Mr. Myers sends the wrong message about his care for the agencies and people he oversees. He has a chance to do much better, and he should take it.”

Grijalva’s statement noted NOAA officials recently began taking steps to reduce sexual harassment and assault but the agency still continues to face claims of harassment and retaliation.

NOAA, as part of the Commerce Department, oversees the National Marine Fisheries Service, sometimes known as NOAA Fisheries.

Trump announced Myers’ nomination in October 2017. The White House has yet to respond to an inquiry for comment.

AccuWeather is a Pennsylvania company that provides weather forecasting and warning services worldwide. Myers became the CEO in 2007.

Last month, AccuWeather announced Myers’ resignation and divestiture from the company, which was founded by his brother in 1962. That move corresponds with a commitment he made during testifying before the Senate.

“As his brother and the person who has known him longer than anyone else, I can attest to his vast knowledge and believe he would be a terrific asset in service to our country," AccuWeather Founder, President, and Chairman Joel N. Myers said.


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