Larry Wallace was a top aide to Kamala Harris stationed in her Sacramento office until Wednesday, December 5, when he resigned over news of a sexual harassment lawsuit that was filed against the Department of Justice in 2017, and subsequently settled.
The Sacramento Bee reports that the Department of Justice settled the claim for $400,000. The accuser, Danielle Hartley, said that she was recruited to be Wallace’s assistant in 2011, and that she felt she was “harassed and demeaned due to her gender.” At one part, Hartley said that Wallace put his printer in a location in his office that forced her to crawl under his desk in dresses and skirts.
He has not given a public statement, though a spokeswoman for Harris said, “We were unaware of this issue and take accusations of harassment extremely seriously. This evening, Mr. Wallace offered his resignation to the senator and she accepted it.”
The state eventually settled with Hartley, but denied any wrongdoing.
Here’s what you need to know.
1. READ: Danielle Hartley Lawsuit Against the Department of Justice Alleges That Wallace ‘Harassed’ Her ‘Based on Her Gender’
As was written in the lawsuit, Hartley was “recruited” by Wallace to be his Executive Assistant in 2011, having worked at the Department of Justice since 2006. Throughout her time working for Wallace, she maintained that she was “harassed and demeaned” by Wallace due to her gender. One specific way in which she was harassed, as written in the suit, details an incident in which Wallace put his printer beneath his desk and asked Hartley to change the ink on a daily basis.
Hartley claimed that even when she asked to move the printer, he refused, and that he would ask her to put printer paper into the printer on occasions where he (and often other male executives as well) could see up her dress or skirt.
Hartley further alleged that she experienced a demotion in “meaningful” task level during her time with Wallace, and soon was spending her time washing his car, booking flights for his children, and so on. She also said that when she returned from doing these errands, Wallace would ask her if she was coming back from a “walk of shame.”
2. Wallace Was the Senior Advisor to Kamala Harris, According to His LinkedIn
Per Wallace’s LinkedIn, he served as a senior advisor to Harris from March 2017 up until Wednesday. Prior to receiving his most recent position, Wallace served in a series of prestigious roles, starting as a police detective for the Berkeley, California police department in 1987. From there, he became a Special Agent for the California Department of Justice in 1994, then moved on to become a Deputy Chief for the San Francisco Attorney Office in 2004. That was where Harris and Wallace first worked together; she was the District Attorney of San Francisco at an overlapping time.
In 2011, Wallace’s work with Harris continued when he took the position of Director in the Division of Law Enforcement for the California Department of Justice. At that point, Harris had become the Attorney General for California.
3. Wallace Was the First African-American to Serve as Director of the Division of Law Enforcement in the California Department of Justice
According to a press release by then-Attorney General Kamala Harris in 2011, Wallace was the first African-American to serve as the director of the Division of Law Enforcement in the California Department of Justice. The press release further noted that Wallace’s role entailed day-to-day oversight of “the department’s $238 million budget, 437 special agents, 281 criminalists, and 693 non-sworn personnel.”
In an interview with LA Sentinel about accepting the directorship, Wallace explained his prior relationship with Harris, saying, “I spent six years… in charge of her special operations program, major fraud, witness relocation and assistance program, and trial preparation unit.”
He then went on to talk about how he was going to implement Harris’ campaign slogan for Attorney General, “Smart on Crime.” He said, “Being smart on crime, that’s a part of collaborating and working with local entities and other forms of law enforcement, other groups within the community … not just a lock-’em-and-throw-away-the-key approach. You have to be smart … that may work in some aspects (cases) but in other aspects, we have to do me … think outside the box … and especially doing more with less.”
4. Wallace Was Featured in ‘African-American Golfer’s Digest’ in 2011
In 2011, Wallace was featured in African-American Golfer’s Digest. Within his interview, he said that he was “totally committed to helping Kamala D. Harris become the best Attorney General the State of California has ever had.”
Wallace said that he began golfing during his time working at the Berkeley Police Department. He said,“I like playing golf early in the morning because, it is relaxing and I enjoy meeting new people outside of my profession–Also, the challenge of the game gives me a chance to forget about the stress involved with my job.”
Wallace continued, “I like taking lessons because it makes me focus on the fundamentals of the golf swing. I would also like to spend more time at the driving range, and play more rounds, but the demands of my job won’t allow it right now.”
5. Wallace Has Been Married to His Wife, Trina Wallace, Since 1994; the Couple Has Two Children, a Daughter Named Bria & a Son Named Marcus
Wallace and his wife, Trina, have been married for 24 years, per African-American Golfer’s Digest. They have two children, a daughter named Bria and a son named Marcus.
As a native of Oakland, California, Wallace attended Oakland High School and went to college at Merritt College. Per the LA Sentinel, Wallace received an Associate of Arts degree there, then received a basketball scholarship to attend Eastern Oregon State College. He received a Bachelor’s degree in business in 1986.
Of law enforcement, Wallace said to the LA Sentinel in 2011, “I was always intrigued by it … always wanted to do the right things … and I just thought, it would be a good career … and I never thought about another career for the past 25 years.”