[Statement of Ms. Holt, Management Analyst, Office of the Chairman, EEOC]
MS. HOLT: Mr. Chairman, Senator Thurmond, and members of this committee: My name is Diane Holt. I am a management analyst in the Office of the Chairman of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
I have known Clarence Thomas for over ten years. For six of those years, I worked very closely with him, cheek to cheek, shoulder to shoulder, as his personal secretary. My acquaintance with Judge Thomas began in May of 1981, after he had been appointed as Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights at the Department of Education.
I had been the personal secretary to the outgoing Assistant Secretary for several years. Upon Judge Thomas' arrival at the department, he held a meeting with me, in which he indicated that he was not committed to bringing a secretary with him, and had no wish to displace me. Because he was not familiar with my qualifications, he made no guarantees, but gave me an opportunity to prove myself. That is the kind of man he is.
In May of 1982, Judge Thomas asked me to go to the EEOC with him, where I worked as his secretary until September of 1987.
I met Professor Hill in the summer of 1981, when she came to work at the Department of Education as attorney advisor to Judge Thomas.
After about a year, Judge Thomas was nominated to be Chairman of the EEOC. He asked both Professor Hill and myself to transfer with him.
Both Ms. Hill and I were excited about the prospect of transferring to the EEOC. We even discussed the greater potential for individual growth at this larger agency. We discussed and expressed excitement that we would be at the right hand of the individual who would run this agency.
When we arrived at the EEOC, because we knew no one else there, Professor Hill and I quickly developed a professional relationship, a professional friendship, often having lunch together.
At no time did Professor Hill intimate, not even in the most subtle of ways, that Judge Thomas was asking her out or subjecting her to the crude, abusive conversations that have been described. Nor did I ever discern any discomfort, when Professor Hill was in Judge Thomas' presence.
Additionally, I never heard anyone at any time make any reference to any inappropriate conduct in relation to Clarence Thomas.
The Clarence Thomas that I know has always been a motivator of staff, always encouraging others to grow professionally. I personally have benefited from that encouragement and that motivation.
In sum, the Chairman Thomas that I have known for ten years is absolutely incapable of the abuses described by Professor Hill.
SENATOR KENNEDY: Thank you very much.