The AJC reported on March 9 that the lobbyist filed a complaint alleging that Shafer retaliated against her and harassed her after helping her get a bill passed in 2011. The AJC does not name alleged victims of sexual assault or sexual harassment.
Shafer called it a "false complaint" aimed at damaging him politically, and he called the lobbyist "a 15-minute, attention-seeking wannabe trying to settle an old score."
Sexual harassment complaints are forwarded to the Senate or House ethics committees for investigation by either a subcommittee or an outside third party.
Punishments for violations of the policy include counseling, termination or other discipline. Legislators could be expelled, fined or censured by a two-thirds vote of the House or Senate, according to the Georgia Constitution.
In the APS case, after state officials flagged irregularities in student test scores, following reporting by the AJC, the school district hired Payne to investigate.
She produced a report that said no evidence existed to support the cheating allegations. But the AJC later reported that early drafts of her report had found the opposite; Atlanta Superintendent Beverly Hall ordered those drafts shredded and made sure more favorable findings ended up in the final draft.
Payne cooperated with special investigators appointed by Gov. Sonny Perdue. In the end, 11 APS teachers and administrators were convicted in 2015 of racketeering in the scandal over cheating on standardized tests.
She has contributed about $20,000 in the past 12 years to Democratic candidates, the state party, judicial races and causes such as Planned Parenthood's political affairs committee and Vote Choice, according to campaign disclosures filed with the state ethics commission.
In the most recent gubernatorial elections, she donated to Democrats Cathy Cox in 2006, Roy Barnes in 2010, Jason Carter in 2014 and Stacey Abrams in this year’s race.
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