The Washington Post reports that junior employees at the centrist think tank No Labels were incensed by the firm’s decision to hire disgraced journalist Mark Halperin, who has been accused of sexual misconduct by at least a dozen women.
Two of the angered employees were given paid time off “to think about what they wanted to do” in the wake of Halperin’s hiring as a project consultant, No Labels Co-Executive Liz Morrison told the Post on Thursday, while another staffer is considering resigning altogether.
“[W]e support and respect their point of view,” Morrison said of the two staffers who were taking paid leave, “just as we do the decision of one of our colleagues to perhaps leave our organization.”
A senior official told the Post that No Labels had offered the paid leave out of “true compassion for our staff, not to force them to make a decision.”
The decision to bring in Halperin rather than a different qualified person without the baggage seemed to be a matter of cost efficiency; Nancy Jacobson, the company’s CEO, reportedly told people that she was able to hire the ex-journalist at a lower rate thanks to his determination to reenter the mainstream political sphere after he was fired from NBC over the sexual harassment allegations.
Earlier this week, No Labels had defended its contract with Halperin, telling Punchbowl that though his actions were “reprehensible,” the company’s leadership “believe a second chance is warranted in this case.”