Senate Candidate Accused of Sexual Harassment

     STAMFORD, Conn. (CN) – A former consultant for U.S. Senate candidate August Wolf has filed a lawsuit accusing the Republican candidate of sexual harassment.
     Samantha Menh, a Stamford resident in her 20s, says Wolf had already been through at least two campaign teams when signed on in March.
     Vying to unseat U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal, Wolf and his campaign are no strangers to internal conflict.
     Wolf’s first campaign manager quit in the fall of 2015, leaving a team of former interns in charge of the campaign.
     Those interns, all in their 20s, departed the campaign in January, alleging a hostile work environment, according to Menh’s complaint, filed today in Superior Court.
     Menh cited this “tumultuous history” as why she secured a promise of “at least $50,000 in compensation if she disrupted her work on behalf of other groups and candidates to work for Wolf and his campaign.”
     She says inappropriate behavior from Wolf, who is in his 50s, began immediately after she signed on.
     When Menh asked Wolf what he did for fun, according to the complaint, he responded, “I have sex!”
     Menh says Wolf also made remarks like, “When I am in the U.S. Senate, someone should put a taser on my [penis] so I can stay awake.”
     On Menh’s last day of work, May 18, according to the complaint, Wolf barricaded her in the office and would not let her walk out of the room. Wolf is about 6-foot-6.
     The politician denied Menh’s allegations, which he called “outrageous” and “completely baseless.”
     “I did not and would never engage in this type of behavior and neither would anyone on the campaign,” Wolf said in an email.
     In addition to the “sexually improper and abusive behavior,” Menh says she also noticed that Wolf “was not abiding by federal and state laws regarding financial reporting and seeking signatures on his petition.”
     Menh says she left after realizing she could not work “under such hostile, illegal and physically intimidating circumstances.”
     Wolf said he plans to defend himself against Menh’s allegations “vigorously.”
     The allegations “are an obvious attempt by a former contractor to extort money at a critical time in the campaign, which she did over the last five days,” Wolf said in an email.
     He said Menh suffered on the job from “poor organizational skills, reckless decision making, and unethical professional and personal behavior.”
     “We attempted to resolve these issues and keep her on the staff, yet she voluntarily tendered her resignation,” Wolf said. “We engaged Ms. Menh with great hopes; we are very sad to see it end this way.”
     Menh’s allegations of illegal fundraising and improper signature collection, however, may cause greater concerns for the campaign.
     Having failed to get enough delegate support at the Republican convention in May, Wolf needs to gather the signatures of more than 8,000 registered Republican voters to compete in the primary against state Rep. Dan Carter of Bethel.
     Both candidates seek to unseat the Democratic Blumenthal, who is running for a second term.
     Campaigns raise money in three different stages, and Menh says Wolf overspent the funds set aside for the convention by $40,000.
     By law, candidates are allowed to receive $2,700 from individuals for each phase of the election, including the convention, primary and general.
     The funds must remain separate. Menh claims in the lawsuit that Wolf contributed money to his campaign to cover up the use of funds from the primary account for the convention account.
     Many of Wolf’s donors gave him more than $2,700 believing he would advance to the primary. By law, the remainder of those donations will have to be returned if he doesn’t get on the ballot.
     At a press conference earlier this month, Wolf declined to talk about the amount of money he will have to reimburse donors if he doesn’t get on the primary ballot.
     Menh told the campaign manager, Baylor Myers, who is also a named as defendant in the lawsuit, that she received a call from the vendor hired by the Wolf campaign to collect the more than 8,000 signatures he needs to get on the primary ballot. Menh said the vendor complained that two workers were collecting signatures without a witness. She was told not to involve herself with compliance issues, according to the complaint.
     Wolf called Menh’s allegations concerning fundraising and signature collection “ridiculous,” “The campaign has followed the letter of the law in respect to fundraising and petitioning,” he said. “Any claims to the contrary are untrue.”
     The Wolf campaign has until June 7 to collect the 8,079 signatures he needs in order to get on the Republican primary ballot.

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