Colleagues from across the political spectrum officially rebuked one of the longest-serving Democrats in the history of the New Hampshire Legislature after an employee stepped forward with a credible complaint that the egotistical representative engaged in “a long pattern of behavior” that produced a “hostile work environment.”
Through interviews with corroborating witnesses and sources with direct knowledge of the situation, the legislature felt compelled to admonish Rep. Dan Eaton (D) of Stoddard. (New Hampshire Public Radio)
Eaton, 62, has served 14 terms in the House. He’s been a member of the powerful House Finance Committee for a decade and served as floor leader for the House when Democrats held the majority in the mid-2000s. He is a frequent presence at the State House, both on days when the Legislature is in session, and when it is not.
According to his Facebook page, Eaton has also served on the Executive Committee of the New Hampshire Democratic Party and was police chief of his hometown of Stoddard for more than a decade in the 1970s and 1980s.
The complaint against Eaton was brought to the attention of House Chief of Staff Terry Pfaff on April 27, according to a memo Pfaff filed the same day. In the document, Pfaff said an unnamed legislative staffer provided him with a “written account of her complaint against Rep. [redacted], whom she stated has long exhibited a pattern of behavior which has led to a hostile work environment.”
“She said it is uncomfortable, not only for her but for the other staff in the office, when he denigrates her and undermines her authority in front of them,” Pfaff wrote in an April 27 memo about the complaint. “[The complainant] added that it is difficult for her to speak up to him due to his role as an elected official.”
Additionally, several women claimed that Eaton has publicly objectified them – with insulting comments about their bodies and extending tactless invitations to socialize outside of the State House.
Eaton has not responded to messages seeking comment. The phone number listed as his personal line on the State House website is disconnected.
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