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By Frank Thorp V and Dartunorro Clark
WASHINGTON — A top aide to Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., resigned on Wednesday after a report surfaced of a $400,000 harassment settlement resulting from his time working for Harris at the California Department of Justice in 2016.
Harris’ office said in a statement to NBC News that it was unaware of the settlement.
Larry Wallace, a senior adviser to Harris, stepped down after The Sacramento Bee reported about the settlement on Wednesday.
The alleged incident occurred in 2016 when Wallace was working as the director of law enforcement under Harris, who was serving as the California attorney general at the time, the paper reported.
Lily Adams, a spokeswoman for Harris, confirmed the resignation in a statement to NBC News on Thursday.
“We were unaware of this issue and take accusations of harassment extremely seriously. This evening (Wednesday), Mr. Wallace offered his resignation to the senator and she accepted it,” Adams said.
Harris, who is currently considering a 2020 presidential run, has been an outspoken advocate against sexual harassment during the #MeToo movement. She was among a group of Democratic women lawmakers who called for the resignation of Sen. Al Franken of Minnesota in December 2017 after he was accused of sexual misconduct.
Wallace’s settlement took place in May 2017, after Harris had been sworn-in as senator and he had been hired as a senior adviser, based in Sacramento.
A lawsuit filed on Dec. 30, 2016, when Harris was transitioning from attorney general to senator, alleged that Wallace placed a printer on the floor underneath his desk and ordered his assistant, Danielle Hartley, to crawl under his desk to replace the paper or ink on a daily basis, the Sacramento Bee reported.