ADC leader cleared of sexual harassment charges

By BOB OLIVER
Times-Herald Newspapers

DEARBORN — An independent investigation has concluded that there is “insufficient evidence” to prove the sexual harassment allegations brought up against American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee Regional Director Imad Hamad in June.

In a statement released on Sept. 27, the ADC said that “an external review of the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee’s Michigan office, performed by an independent third party led by an experienced Michigan attorney, has concluded that there is insufficient evidence to make a conclusive determination supporting allegations of harassment since 2007.”

Hamad, who was placed on administrative leave after the allegations were made, will no longer serve as head of the Michigan office of the ADC, but will remain with the organization as an advisor.

Dearborn native Abed Ayoub will take over as the regional office director for Michigan. Ayoub also serves as the director of Policy and Legal Affairs for the ADC office in Washington, D.C.

The allegations against Hamad were brought before the ADC 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 placed Hamad on leave and opened the investigation into the matter, stating they took “with the utmost seriousness any and all allegations of sexual harassment and misconduct.”

(Bob Oliver can be reached at boliver@bewickpublications.com.)

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