On his campaign website, Pennsylvania Republican House nominee Marty Nothstein boasts that after his career as an Olympic cyclist, he “took charge of the Valley Preferred Cycling Center, a non-profit organization that runs the world-class Trexlertown velodrome. In short order, he improved the track’s finances and expanded training programs for the next generation of young champions. He created outreach programs in underserved communities where too many children are forgotten.” Left out of this biography is the fact that he was put on unpaid leave by his own board over a sexual misconduct allegation.
According to a Friday report from The Morning Call, Northstein, who is in a competitive race for the Lehigh Valley-based House seat left open by the retirement of Rep. Charlie Dent (R), was suspended by the board following a sexual misconduct claim relating to an alleged incident from around the year 2000.
According to emails reviewed by the paper, the board made the decision after learning Nothstein was “was under investigation for alleged misconduct by the U.S. Center for SafeSport, an independent wing of the congressionally sanctioned U.S. Olympic Committee.” He had led the non-profit for a decade, receiving a six-figure annual salary — about a sixth of the organization’s total annual revenue. The decision to put Nothstein on leave was, reportedly, unanimous.
Nothstein told the paper that the allegations are “100 percent false” and a “political hit job.” “There is no victim here,” he added.
In May, a former velodrome employee claimed in a lawsuit that he was fired after he raised concerns about the “noxious work environment” created by Nothstein. In it, the former staffer alleged that Nothstein told him “you Trinidadians are lazy and con men,” and that to make Trinidadians good employees, “you have to beat it out of them.” A campaign spokesman called the lawsuit “without merit.”
Nothstein’s campaign platform includes a Donald Trump-style vow to “drain the swamp in Washington.” His campaign ads claim he is “running for congress to bring common sense conservatism to government and fight for our values.”
Across the country and in Pennsylvania, several candidates and elected officials have faced issues stemming from allegations of sexual misconduct and predation. Calls to hold them meaningfully accountable have intensified following the #MeToo movement and several members of Congress from both parties have resigned or declined to seek re-election following such allegations.