Report: 3 Former Employees Accuse Cato Institute Co-Founder Ed Crane of Sexual Harassment

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On Thursday, Politico published an investigation in which three former employees of the Cato Institute, an influential libertarian think tank, alleged that Ed Crane, the institute’s 73-year-old co-founder and president emeritus, sexually harassed them. Crane held the title of CEO and president of Cato for more than 30 years before relinquishing his leadership in 2012.

All three of the accusations against Crane paint the former think tank leader as rather preoccupied with talking to female employees about their breasts. One employee alleges Crane asked her to remove her bra; another that he compared her breasts to digital pornographic images; another that he sent her an email about breast augmentation.


Politico also confirmed an additional sexual harassment claim, leveled by a former employee in 2012, with the woman’s lawyer. Crane reportedly settled the claim.

Five additional men and women expressed to Politico that Crane “felt little hesitation about bringing up sexual topics with female employees.”

When reached for comment, Crane told Politico that he denied several of the accusations, and some of them he couldn’t remember, citing a stroke he had last year that he says impaired his memory. Crane is quoted telling Politico of the accusations in general “this is ridiculous,” and “I have no comment” in reference to the reported 2012 settlement

Politico reported that in the years following his transition to president emeritus Crane was still paid an annual salary of more than $400,000, but that his consulting contract has since expired, according to a Cato spokesperson.


You can read the full report here.

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Hannah Gold

contributing writer, nights