Fung and Morgan Refuse to Condemn Alleged Sexual Harassment By President of RI Young Republicans

Tuesday, February 13, 2018


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GOP candidates for Governor Morgan and Fung

The national Young Republicans have confirmed to GoLocal that they have initiated an investigation into alleged sexual harassment by Rob Sullivan, President of the RI Young Republicans.

While the national organization is taking action, the two announced GOP candidates for governor, Cranston Mayor Allan Fung -- whose wife nominated Sullivan to be President, according to Sullivan --and House Minority Leader Patricia Morgan have both refused to condemn Sullivan’s alleged behavior, after Rachel Hussey says she was booted from the RIYR after a physical relationship with Sullivan went south. 

Morgan told GoLocal, “It's an unfortunate situation. If [Sullivan] used his position to try and expel someone unfairly, that wouldn't be right."

Morgan said she couldn't, however, call for Sullivan to resign. "Ultimately, that's up to the members of the organization [to decide]," said Morgan. 

And Fung refused to respond to a request for comment.  

Latest in Controversy

The national organization told GoLocal it has received multiple complaints against Sullivan.

“I can confirm that Young Republican National Federation (YRNF) has received multiple grievances against Chairman Sullivan, including Ms. Hussey's. We take these matters very seriously, especially allegations of sexual harassment. We are presently investigating all claims made against Chairman Sullivan and hope to adjudicate this matter quickly,” said Chris Godbey, YRNF Executive Director.

“Moreover, we are certainly disappointed that there is a misrepresentation of the national organization by Chairman Sullivan’s behavior, as this does not reflect on the tens of thousands of members of our organization that work tirelessly around the nation in our mission to recruit, train, and elect Republicans. Our organization is focused on bringing new members into the organization to promote our Republican values, not seeking to expel individuals who are interested in that effort,” added Godbey. 

Hussey is alleging she was ousted from the political organization after a relationship with the current RIYR President went sour. He denied the expulsion charge, but a taped phone conversation undermines his claims.

She said that after confronting Sullivan about a relationship with another woman, that after several exchanges that involved contacting the police by both parties, that he told her she was expelled from the group. 

Sullivan denied the expulsion -- but Hussey provided a taped a phone call in which Sullivan told her she was out, which is inconsistent with his comments to GoLocal on Sunday. In the call taped by Hussey, Sullivan said she had violated multiple by-laws; in an interview with GoLocal he said he did not want her at a GOP event because he feared for her mental health. 

LISTEN: Tape of Call Between Sullivan and Hussey above

National Episodes Are Dominating

This episode is playing out against the backdrop of an endless series of sexual harassment and abuse cases being unveiled across the country. The most recent case was the two ex-wives of top White House aide Rob Porter coming forward alleging that he had physically and mentally abused them. The White House's response to the women's claims has been widely criticized.

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Claims against Sullivan, pictured, are being investigated by the Young Republicans National Federation.

Sullivan Issues Response

On Sunday, Sullivan denied to GoLocal that he had expelled Hussey unilaterally from the group, but a recording of a conversation between Sullivan and Hussey unveiled the opposite. Rhode Island is a one-party consent state -- Hussey was well within her rights to tape Sullivan.

Sullivan posted the following statement to the Young Republican's website on Monday night:

In response to the accusations of wrongdoings by the Rhode Island Young Republicans, I as the chairman, would like to clear the air and shed some truth on the situation and prove that the RIYR are not guilty of the claims levied against us by one of our members in regard to an alleged, wrongful expulsion.

On December 2, 2017, Ms. Rachel Hussey sent communications to my personal cell phone expressing her disgust with our friendship. Soon after, she began making threats to me that “everyone was going to get it,” where I proceeded to ask her to stop and threatened to call the police. Moments later, I received explicit pictures of Ms. Hussey attempting to do harm to herself. Those horrifying images, followed by dozens more messages and over 60 phone calls that night, prompted myself and members of our leadership team to take the proper action and contact authorities before she could do real harm to herself. Also, during this time, Ms. Hussey, who had RIYR email privileges, sent herself a threatening email from the RIYR email account, pretending to be myself and texted me the screenshots of the email that she had written which was later turned over to the police. Ms. Hussey, using a phone app, called my phone under the guise of another member’s phone number pretending to be with that member to regain control of RIYR online accounts. Furthermore, upon my return to Rhode Island, slanderous rumors continued to be spread by Ms. Hussey as she publicly went on a local broadcast program and falsely accused another one of our members of sexual misconduct in return for votes, followed by a mention of our organization by name. These actions were a clear attempt to damage our organization, a clear violation of our policies, and are the true reasons for Ms. Hussey’s planned expulsion.

On multiple occasions since we first had met, I had told Rachel that I did not wish to pursue anything more than a friendship with her and that I had feelings for someone else, which prompted a timely backlash where she claimed, “you’re out of state, nothing you can do,” for I was out of the country.  Personal problems should be kept separate from public and professional life, but unfortunately in this case, public attacks were made on our organization by Ms. Hussey that could not be ignored.

Let me be perfectly clear: the accusation that her expulsion was triggered by our non-existent “personal relationship” and the mention of “sexual harassment” is proven completely false by real evidence of her wrongdoings in an attempt to smear our public reputation which is why I feel this statement is necessary.

In professional organizations like ours, there will always be disagreements among the membership, and there should be a mature and professional way of handling the situation, preventing further unnecessary conflicts. Over the last two months, members of the organization have had to personally endure what many of us would not be willing to. We have been the victims of malicious cyber stalking, serial harassment and slanderous false personal attacks that have affected not only myself, but the people in my life in whom I care for the most. After weeks of trying to hopefully come to some sort of agreement, a conversation took place between both of our attorneys, where no compromise was going to take place, ultimately leading to the decision that Ms. Rachel Hussey should face expulsion from our organization. A phone call, which Ms. Hussey recorded without my consent, does not substitute as a formal expulsion from the group. Ms. Hussey will receive a formal letter of notification of her impending expulsion which will detail the policies and procedures of the process of removal.

Robert Sullivan,

Chairman of the RI Young Republicans


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