DC council member shares concerns about John Falcicchio's sexual harassment investigation

A D.C. lawmaker is speaking out about the high-profile case involving the mayor’s former chief of staff and deputy mayor for planning and economic development, John Falcicchio

He abruptly resigned back in March after two city employees accused him of sexual harassment. However, the case is being handled internally instead of by a third-party firm.

Ward 1 Councilwoman Brianne Nadeau tweeted she is worried this could lead to a broader failure in District government when it comes to taking sexual harassment seriously. The case is being handled by the Mayor’s Office of Legal Counsel.

FOX 5 asked Nadeau if she believes the case is being handled objectively.

"I don’t know, but I have concerns," she said.

Two D.C. employees say they experienced sexual harassment and unwanted advances from Falcicchio.

"There’s always a chance when politics are involved that something won’t be handled fairly because of other interests, so making sure you have an outside investigator ensures there’s no question, that there’s no politics involved, and that everyone gets their voice heard fairly," Nadeau explained.


Second DC employee makes sexual harassment allegation against former deputy mayor

Former D.C. Deputy Mayor John Falcicchio is facing a second allegation of sexual harassment from a District employee, according to the alleged victim's lawyers.

Both women are represented by Debra Katz and Kayla Morin. Those are the same attorneys providing counsel for the former Washington Commanders employees regarding the team’s toxic work culture.

"If there’s two people raising it then there may be more and this could give them the strength and bravery to also come forward," Nadeau said.

After the #MeToo movement gained prominence, Nadeau helped spearhead changes to the D.C. council’s sexual harassment policies in 2018. The goal is to ensure a transparent and fair process for city employees.

"The fact that we refer to an outside investigator whenever there’s a formal complaint I think is a huge component of providing that trust and understanding to our staff that we’ll take any concerns they raise seriously," Nadeau said.

Nadeau believes the Mayor’s office should implement a similar protocol instead of the executive office officially essentially investigating itself.

"Time will tell if that investigation will yield justice for these women," Nadeau said.

FOX 5 did contact the D.C. Mayor’s Office for an interview and/or comment regarding this topic. A spokeswoman referred our inquiry about the case to the Office of Legal Counsel, and we are waiting to hear back.