DC employee's sexual harassment allegation at center of John Falcicchio investigation
WASHINGTON - Mayor Muriel Bowser answered questions Wednesday, following the resignation of now-former Deputy Mayor John Falcicchio.
Falcicchio resigned abruptly last Friday.
Mayor Bowser announced there was an investigation into Falcicchio on Monday.
That same day, attorneys for a District employee alleged Falcicchio sexually harassed her.
FOX 5 has made multiple attempts to reach Falcicchio, but have not heard back.
Mayor Bowser indicated Monday she became aware of the allegations "late last week," but later corrected that timeline to indicate the week before.
Here’s a timeline confirmed by the Mayor and the deputy director for the Mayor’s Office of Legal Counsel:
March 8- The mayor says she was notified about an allegation against Falcicchio.
March 9- Falcicchio was told about the allegation against him.
March 10- Falcicchio took leave, according to the Deputy director of the Mayor’s Office of Legal Counsel.
March 13- FOX 5 is told told Falcicchio did limited work at home while under explicit instructions to stay away from the District employee who made the complaint.
March 17- Falcicchio submits his resignation. Mayor’s office sends a letter with no mention of the investigation, simply saying Falcicchio is transitioning to the private sector.
Mayor Bowser said Wednesday that Falcicchio resigned on his own. Bowser and Vanessa Natale with the Office of Legal Counsel took questions on the situation following the mayor’s proposed budget unveiling.
Natale says disclosures about the investigation weren’t immediately made due to privacy and confidentiality concerns, and then the OLC was waiting for Falcicchio to get an attorney, which Natale says the OLC recommended.
Multiple questions were asked directly to Bowser Wednesday, but the mayor answered only one, deferring everything else to Natale.
Bowser was specifically asked whether she was made aware of any other allegations against Falcicchio, and she deferred to Natale.
"Thank you mayor. Mayor Bowser cannot comment on that right now," Natale said.
Natale emphasized the current investigation is focused on the allegation made by this one District employee at this time.
Very few questions about the nature of the investigation, whether interviews have been conducted, whether Falcicchio has been cooperating, were not answered.
Questions were also raised about the impartiality of an investigation considering the Mayor’s Office of Legal Counsel answers to the mayor.
Natale said this investigation will be done by the book.
The one answer Bowser did give during the news conference was also to that end.
"We have policies and procedures that are implicated by these allegations, and we are following them with fidelity," Bowser said.