‘You Know Better': Ex-Employee Criticizes Boston Globe's Handling of Investigation Into Top Editor

Hilary Sargent had accused Editor Brian McGrory of sending her inappropriate, sexually suggestive text messages

What to Know

  • Former Boston Globe employee Hilary Sargent blasted the newspaper's independent investigation into Editor Brian McGrory
  • The Globe investigation found that McGrory did not violate its anti-harassment policy in connection with texts he exchanged with Sargent
  • McGrory has denied harassing Sargent, and both of them have confirmed they dated years ago

A former Boston Globe employee who accused the newspaper's top editor of sending her inappropriate, sexually suggestive messages has taken to Twitter to blast the results of an internal investigation released this week.

Boston Globe officials said their investigation found that Editor Brian McGrory did not violate an anti-harassment policy in connection with text messages he exchanged with former writer and editor Hilary Sargent. The Globe reported executives at the paper disclosed the probe's findings to staff Thursday afternoon.

Sargent fired back at the Globe on Twitter on Thursday and again Friday, saying their investigation did not involve interviewing any corroborating witnesses she offered to them.

"I wish I could say I am shocked by the Globe's announcement," she said. "Sadly, it's no surprise that an institution that chooses to sue a former employee who speaks out would then conduct an 'investigation' only in name.

The Boston Globe identified Jim O’Sullivan as the previously unnamed reporter who was forced to resign following claims of sexual harassment.

The Globe sued Sargent after she tweeted a screenshot of a text exchange she said occurred between her and McGrory in which she says McGrory asked her what she wears when she writes. The Globe's suit was later dropped after she agreed to provide the newspaper with additional information about the text exchange.

"If the Globe wants to stage an investigation in order to build a convenient narrative to save its editor, go for it," Sargent said. "I can't stop you. But don't pretend - for a second - that it's the *right* thing to do. You know better."

Sargent also compared the Globe's harassment investigation to its reporting coverage of the priest abuse scandal.

"If the @BostonGlobe applied the same investigative techniques to this that they applied when searching for the truth about the Catholic Church, there sure as hell wouldn't be a Spotlight movie. Or a Pulitzer."

Sargent also issued a formal statement through her lawyer saying she is "incredibly disappointed" by the Globe's decision to clear McGrory.

"I spent more than seven hours with the investigator over the course of two meetings, during which I identified how McGrory has acted inappropriately by text, email, and in person," she added. "Since May 20, when I tweeted a text exchange, the Globe has sought to protect itself and its editor and to punish me for speaking out. Nothing the Globe has done suggests that they understand or care about creating a safe workplace."

Globe officials said investigators hired by the paper found there were exchanges of a personal nature between the two, but they were initiated and reciprocated by both of them and did not violate the paper's anti-harassment policy.

McGrory has denied harassing Sargent, and both of them have confirmed they dated years ago.

"I can't believe I have to write these words, but I have never harassed Hilary Sargent or any other women at the Globe or anywhere else — ever," he wrote in a letter to staffers earlier this year.

Kevin Cullen of the Boston Globe has been suspended without pay.

Sargent was an editorial assistant for the Globe in the late '90s and later worked as both a writer and editor for the Globe-owned website from 2014 to 2016. She said McGrory played a "major role" in getting her hired at, was involved in editing and assigning stories she wrote, and was involved in decisions to promote her.

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