A few days ago, it was revealed that Wayne Pacelle, CEO of the anti-agricultural activist organization Humane Society of the United States, was the focus of an investigation amid allegations of sexual misconduct. They came soon after another HSUS executive, former Vice-President of Policy Engagement Paul Shapiro, left the company quietly amid his own reported sexual harassment scandal.
Two more women have since come forward to accuse Pacelle of harassment, and a memo detailed in an report by The Washington Post noted that three other workers who said they were demoted or dismissed after reporting Pacelle’s alleged behavior. The allegations in all go back more than a decade and have put one of the nation’s largest nonprofits in an unflattering light and, if substantiated, suggest that Pacelle, who became CEO in 2004, didn’t wait long to exploit his position of power among his co-workers.
Eric Bernthal, Chairman of the Board of Directors for the Humane Society of the United States, has released this statement: “The Board of Directors of the Humane Society of the United States retained Morgan Lewis in December to conduct an investigation of allegations of workplace misconduct against our CEO, Wayne Pacelle. A special committee of the board is overseeing the investigation and reviewing its findings.”
In The Post’s article, Pacelle denied the complaints from all three women.