The Senate Rules Committee on Thursday revealed that, over the last 20 years, at least $600,000 of taxpayers’ money has been spent in settlement agreements involving misconduct allegations against senators’ offices, according to several reports.
Politico and NBC News reported, citing data the panel released jointly with the Senate Appropriations Committee, that the figure was paid out from the Office of Compliance’s fund that is designated for handling workplace misconduct. The total does not reflect any payments that lawmakers may have made from their office budgets, which are also funded by taxpayers.
According to Politico, two of the claims settled using the fund involved racial discrimination, three involved disability discrimination, eight involved age discrimination and one involved a claim of sex discrimination, though it was not clear whether harassment or other misconduct was involved.
The data also reflected settlements paid by Senate offices not led by a member, according to Politico. Those have totaled $853,225 for 10 claims since 1997, according to the data, and included three claims of sex discrimination.