One of Republican Rep. Jim Jordan’s former senior staffers who went on to become an Ohio state representative resigned his post last year after he was caught having sex with a man in his State House office.
But further reporting at the time revealed Wesley Goodman also had a history of harassing young men and one case of documented sexual assault – an incident that remained well-hidden for two years.
TPM resurrected the story as Jordan faces current accusations by former Ohio State University wrestlers that he knew of sexual abuse by the team’s doctor but failed to address it.
Jordan claimed last year that he was aware of no behavioral issues with Goodman during his tenure as senior staff.
Goodman’s story is not new. Here’s a story in The New York Times about Goodman’s resignation last November. Here’s a much more detailed story from The Washington Post. The Post story got a lot of attention at the time and tells a very disturbing story.
At a conference of GOP mega donors at the Ritz-Carlton near Washington in 2015, Goodman coaxed an 18 year old college student to spend the night in his hotel room. The man woke up in the middle of the night to find Goodman’s hands inside his pants.
Goodman was working for the Conservative Action Project at the time, a political organization run by Tony Perkins (currently President of the Family Research Council).
The young man’s father approached Perkins regarding the incident, saying:
“If we endorse these types of individuals, then it would seem our whole weekend together was nothing more than a charade.”
Perkins urged Goodman to drop out of the race, advice Goodman did not heed. But Perkins does not appear to have taken further action aside from discussing the matter with the board of the Center for National Policy. The story remained secret until November 2017.
Documents and emails from the CNP reviewed by the Post referred to “similar incidents” but just what those were is unclear.
Other accusations of harassing behavior by Goodman during his time in Ohio surfaced as well last year.
The same article reports that another Ohio-based conservative operative said that “Goodman engaged in predatory behavior toward younger men after leaving Jordan’s office, sending inappropriate material and propositioning them via text message and Facebook messenger. The conservative operative said he’d target college kids who wanted to have him as a mentor and were scared to report his sexual advances because they didn’t want to damage their own careers.”
Considering the likelihood that Goodman’s predatory behavior did not begin in Ohio, TPM questions whether a review of his time with Jordan’s office deserves a review.
It seems worth asking whether anyone reported Goodman’s behavior during his tenure with Jordan and at the [Republican Study Committee] during Jordan’s chairmanship. If not, was there any retrospective review when Goodman’s history of harassing behavior emerged? No contemporary reporting suggests there was.
When contacted for comment, Rep. Jordan’s office directed me to the statement his office released at the time of Goodman’s resignation (November 2017) and noted that this remains their response: “Representative Goodman acted inappropriately and consequently resigned. During his employment with our office, we heard no allegations of wrongdoing and received no accusations of misconduct. Congressman Jordan is deeply disappointed by this troubling news, and believes Mr. Goodman’s resignation was the best course of action for the Ohio House of Representatives, Mr. Goodman’s constituents, and his family.”