A New York City councilman’s bizarre reaction to a sexual harassment training seminar is raising eyebrows nationwide.
New York City Council members attended the annual course Wednesday at a time when two of them, Barry Grodenchik and Andy King, are facing allegations of sexual harassment. The attorney who gave the presentation was laying out a hypothetical scenario in which a female staffer is subjected to lewd remarks by a male chief of staff when Bronx Councilman Ruben Diaz Sr. interrupted.
“He just started screaming and shouting out: ‘So we’re supposed to be rats? That’s a rat!’” a council member told the New York Daily News.
When Council Speaker Corey Johnson responded that there was a moral and legal duty to report sexual harassment, Diaz reportedly became even more irate. He continued interrupting, shouting, and insisting that he would never ‘rat his people out.’
One council member described the episode as “f***ing insane.”
“I used to think he was crazy or that he was a religious zealot, I now actually believe that he’s a fundamentally bad human being” they said of Diaz, a Pentecostal minister and controversial figure in New York politics with a history of making homophobic remarks.
Diaz’s rant continued as he accused fellow council members of “bullying” him to stay quiet. Before the presentation ended, some city leaders walked out.
Needless to say, Councilman Diaz probably shouldn't be counted on to protect employees from unwanted sexual advances.