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Posted at 9:29 AM ET, 08/20/2010

Library of Congress pays $250K in sex suit

By Washington Post editors

Officials with the Library of Congress have agreed to pay $250,000 to an employee who sued over alleged sexual harassment by the former top law librarian.

The U.S. District Court in Washington formally accepted the settlement Thursday, but the agreement stipulates it is not an admission of guilt.

Theresa Papademetriou accused the now-retired Chief of the Law Library Dr. Rubens Medina of “persistent harassment of female employees” in court documents. The lawsuit says Medina told one female subordinate he had “tasted breast milk,” commented on female staffers' bodies and stroked Papademetriou's cheek “in a sexual way.”

Papademetriou filed formal complaints, and alleged a library investigation found Medina had sexually inappropriate conduct toward at least seven women but library officials did nothing about it.

--Associated Press

By Washington Post editors  | August 20, 2010; 9:29 AM ET
Categories:  DC  
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Stupid is as stupid does....

Posted by: 10bestfan | August 20, 2010 11:10 AM | Report abuse

Somebody do those things to me, I want $250k too!

Posted by: alientech | August 20, 2010 11:47 AM | Report abuse

Everyone finds this easy to believe.

But what might stop agencies of the federal govenrment from ignoring complaints, in this case 7 women complained, is to retroactively give the previous victims who complained the sal eamount as the final victim won in court.

In that sex harrassers and perverts and their bosses will know to take the first complaint seriously and do something.

Second I would take personnel actaion against the federal employees who received complaints and did nothing.

somebody tell me why we are paying these federal employees for breaking the law the rest of us must follow or suffer the consequences.

Posted by: JohnAdams1 | August 20, 2010 12:09 PM | Report abuse

JohnAdams1- I agree w/you!!

Posted by: 10bestfan | August 20, 2010 12:28 PM | Report abuse

"...he had “tasted breast milk”....

Um, excepting you formula folk, haven't we all?

Posted by: RealityCheckerInEffect | August 20, 2010 12:34 PM | Report abuse

are his pension checks impacted, or stopped?
or are we taxpayers stuck supporting him for life?

Posted by: FloridaChick | August 20, 2010 1:45 PM | Report abuse

Please don't get upset with me. But, while comments were highly offensive and the touching were both inappropriate in the workplace, I didn't read anything that brought these behaviors to the "of a sexual nature" standard as required in the EEOC sexaul harassment regulation. Moreover, a quarter mil is one hellofva settlement. Even though most agencies have a staff of attorney's represent us in employee relations cases.something tells me this isn't the first overly generous settlement a federal agency has made with (our) taxpayer money.

Posted by: PracticalIndependent | August 20, 2010 2:07 PM | Report abuse

@Practical...r u kidding? he actually touched her? she should have knocked punched his face when he stroked her cheek.

Posted by: evpoison | August 20, 2010 2:38 PM | Report abuse

The LoC settled because there are more evidence to show that they fostered an environment like this. The article only posted a pidgen of the complaints; there's more to this than what is written. If they don't settle, there would be more bad things coming out of the woodwork that not only involved this retired person but others as well.

Posted by: midsummerseve | August 20, 2010 2:40 PM | Report abuse

No one seems able to get to those who ignored the complaints in the first place.

If we dont' get rid of them, if they suffer no consequences, then ignoring the rules will go on and on and on and on and on and on and on .....

Posted by: amelia45 | August 20, 2010 2:43 PM | Report abuse

This isn't the only law suit the LC has dealt with. They lost that last one with the transgendered employee. It's a poorly run place. Take the Performing Arts Reading Room. There's a music reference librarian that hates country music. He's from Russia I think.

Posted by: Buthulhu | August 20, 2010 3:06 PM | Report abuse


You're absolutely right..What he did was wrong and he should be fired, along with any supervisors or managers who were informed of or aware of his behavior and took no action (the latter is what really costs taxpayers $250,000. My only point was that the behavior didn't meet the legal standard of "sexual harassment". (I'm not sure what "stroking on the cheek in a sexual way" is, are you?)

Posted by: PracticalIndependent | August 20, 2010 3:37 PM | Report abuse

@alientech- I, too, hope you find yourself in a position where you are forced to endure unwelcome sexual harassment or fear losing your job.
- this kind of behavior (the sexual harassment) is actually very common in every industry - but the LOC is NOT the only federal agency to try and sweep this stuff under the rug

Posted by: bemm | August 20, 2010 3:54 PM | Report abuse

Er, Practicall, I'm not clear on what your legal expertise is, but commenting on co-workers bodies and stroking cheeks is entirely inappropriate behavior and, yes, sexual harassment. The person being commented upon or HEARING the comments regardless of gender being offended is all that's required ... as well as the personnel folks doing nothing to stop the behavior once they became aware of it.

If it had simply been a single comment on having tasted breast milk alone, fine; a single act or statement doesn't a lawsuit make. It's the continuing behavior and management doing nothing to see to it that it stopped that is unlawful.

Posted by: Fallen1 | August 20, 2010 5:47 PM | Report abuse

In the early 90s I and many other women working at the Library of Congress endured the high jinks of the security staffer [former police officer?] who had a special technique for taking women's finger prints. Somehow the woman's body had to closely pass across the front of his own body.
Oh, and often the prints weren't good enough.
He'd call each of us back for a retake!

He was a dreadful initiation. I didn't encounter the Law Librarian, so fortunately the finger print pervert was the worst part of working at the mostly otherwise great Library of Congress.

Any other woman remember the fingerprint pervert?

Posted by: willardstnw | August 20, 2010 8:11 PM | Report abuse

Which cheek did he stroke?

Posted by: lowercaselarry | August 20, 2010 9:55 PM | Report abuse

Which cheek did he stroke?

Posted by: lowercaselarry | August 20, 2010 9:56 PM | Report abuse

It is the American Taxpayer, not the Library of Congress, who is raped by this settlement.

Posted by: jiji1 | August 23, 2010 2:42 PM | Report abuse

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