This article was originally published at 8:10 a.m. Friday and was updated at 6:15 p.m.
ITHACA, N.Y. — The congressional campaign for Ian Golden has “parted ways” with its digital director, Stephen Carpineta, who has been accused of harassment.
Bob Lingle, communications director for the Golden for Congress campaign, said the campaign learned of the harassment claims directly from accusers via phone, email and social media. Lingle said he could not answer if Carpineta is facing any charges related to harassment.
The accusations came from women who are not connected with the campaign, Lingle said.
“This week we were presented with accusations of harassment by one of our team members, which occurred outside of the campaign. Although we do not have the capacity to verify the accuracy of these allegations, we take the issue very seriously and have acted accordingly. Harassment has too frequently and for too long been a part of many people’s daily lives, especially women. We are long overdue for people feeling and being empowered to speak out and hold others accountable. I hope that in doing so, healing and change can begin,” Golden said in a statement.
Carpineta has been communications director for New York Progressive Action Network since July 2017, his LinkedIn says. Carpineta lives in Tioga County and joined the campaign team early, according to an archived version of the Golden campaign’s website.
Golden, a local resident and business owner, announced his run for Congress last year. He owns Finger Lakes Running and Triathlon Company.
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Golden said his core campaign team is comprised mostly of women, and said he and his campaign are “deeply saddened and angered by the realities of discrimination, harassment, and violence that impact so many people.” The Golden for Congress campaign is making a $600 donation to the Time’s Up Legal Defense Fund, a news release said. The legal defense fund is administered by the National Women’s Law Center and connects people experience sexual misconduct with legal and public relations assistance.
The Golden campaign has not given details about the harassment claims. “Due to the nature of these accusations, it is not something we are able to comment on,” Lingle said.
Carpineta has denied the claims against him.
In a statement, Carpineta said: “The allegations of sexual harassment on my part are completely false. I did not send, and would never send, sexually offensive images to anyone. I do not deny that I said hurtful things to two of my former girlfriends, years ago, for which I am deeply sorry. I hope I’ve changed for the better in the ensuing decade, and I believe my other girlfriends and my hundreds of friends, contacts and colleagues would defend my good character.”