One toy banana, when put in the wrong hands, can do far more harm than good. That's what two officials from the Iowa workplace safety agency found out shortly before they departed their positions due to a banana toy-related scandal.
The governor's office received an anonymous complaint in July, alleging that two employees at the Occupational Safety And Health Agency, Dawn Chamberlain and Ben Brightman, "routinely passed around a child's banana toy made of soft, stretchy material that they pretended was a penis and waved at passing employees."
The complaint went on to say that other employees could not complain about the behavior because their supervisor, Deborah Babb, would often join in on it. This caused several employees, who felt intimidated, to leave their position at the agency, and a formal investigation began in July. Brightman commented to the Associated Press:
"I had a hard time defending myself because the allegations were so absurd, so ludicrous."
Chamberlain would later say that she had, indeed, brought the banana-shaped toy to work, but that she had never used it in the manner described by the complaint. The investigation would ultimately decide no disciplinary action was necessary against Chamberlain and Brightman.
Deborah Babb, however, left her job in October at the end of the investigation, and her boss, Jens Nissen, was fired by the Commissioner Of Labor on the same day. These actions all took place during Governor Reynolds' re-election campaign, during which Democrats accused the Republican Governor of "not responding properly to sexual misconduct allegations among state government employees."
Twitter won't be playing with a banana toy any time soon.
It just goes to show: you can never be too careful when a banana-shaped toy is nearby.