By BOB OLIVER
DEARBORN — American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee Regional Director Imad Hamad has been put on administrative leave in the wake of sexual harassment allegations brought against him by a state legislator.
In a statement released by the ADC on June 1 the group said that they had “informed Mr. Hamad that he was being placed on administrative leave pending a full investigation into the allegations and he has consented to it.”
The allegations were received in a letter from state Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Detroit), who informed the group that she had been sexually harassed by Hamad while working in the ADC Michigan office 15 years ago.
Tlaib added that she regretted not reporting Hamad to the proper authorities when she worked for him and that she “was devastated to find out in 2007 there were more victims after me.”
“In 2007, a number of current women employees, interns, and past employees submitted statements that led to only requiring Imad Hamad to take a sexual harassment course,” Tlaib said.
She wrote that she was “very concerned and alarmed” and felt that harassment allegations submitted to the ADC National Office in Washington, D.C., against Hamad in 2007 “have not been taken seriously.”
The open letter was sent to ADC President Warren David, ADC National Board Chairman Safa Chair, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Michigan Barbara McQuade and U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission Field Director in Detroit Gail Cober.
In response, the ADC has placed Hamad on leave and have stated that it is going to investigate the matter.
The ADC added that “as soon as it can be arranged, and with the assistance of outside legal counsel, ADC will be retaining the services of a reputable and completely independent investigator experienced in such matters to thoroughly investigate the alleged misconduct.”
The ADC added that it takes “with the utmost seriousness any and all allegations of sexual harassment and misconduct.”
(Bob Oliver can be reached at [email protected])