Settlement reached in former DC deputy mayor's sexual harassment case

A settlement agreement has been reached in relation to former D.C. Deputy Mayor John Falcicchio, who was found to have sexually harassed two women.

A spokesperson from the Office of D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser sent FOX 5 the following statement Thursday, on behalf of the Mayor’s Office of Legal Counsel:

"We can confirm that the MOLC, on behalf of the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development, has settled the two administrative complaints against the former Deputy Mayor. The confidentiality provisions in the agreements preclude us from disclosing the terms of the settlements, except as required by law," the statement read.

Falcichhio held both roles of Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development and Chief of Staff within the Bowser administration since 2014 and left in March 2023. Initially, Mayor Bowser announced Falcicchio was in transition to the private sector but did not offer further details on the transition or what prompted the move.

A report later released in June 2023 concluded Falcicchio sexually harassed a city employee, followed by another report in late July 2023 stating Falcichio engaged in physical sexual advances during five incidents in 2020 involving a second complainant.

Ward 1 councilmember Brianne Nadeau told FOX 5 Thursday, she hoped the settlements gave the complainants a sense of support and closure.

"It feels like some justice has been served," Councilmember Nadeau said.

RELATED: Feds investigating Falcicchio's sexual harassment allegations

Last year, the D.C. Council passed legislation that instructed the Inspector General to perform an independent investigation into Falcicchio. The results are expected Friday, though it is unclear whether they will be public on the same day.

"I look forward to seeing what’s in it. At the same time, I don’t look forward to seeing what’s in it but I am glad we are moving forward with this piece of the legislation because for me and my colleagues who joined me unanimously in supporting the legislation, getting answers on what occurred here in the executive branch of our government is really important," Nadeau said. "It will inform how we move forward as a government in ensuring we can protect our employees, that they can come to work and not be worried about their safety."

In addition, Nadeau said permanent legislation has been introduced and is currently under consideration by the council that would change certain policies within the HR department of the D.C. government.

"For any mayoral appointee who is accused of sexual harassment, it would automatically trigger an independent investigation. That’s a key piece here because what we want is to make sure that there is no bias in these investigations and especially when a high-level appointee has been accused…that whoever comes forward knows they will get a fair investigation," she said. "I think it’s important to pass a law to ensure that there is a very clear process for employees who would like to file a complaint and for what outcomes they could expect. In addition to that, that there is a trigger for independent investigations."

Shortly after Bowser’s office confirmed the settlement Thursday, FOX 5 received the following statement from Debra Katz and Kayla Morin.

"We are precluded from discussing any settlement in the matter regarding John Falcicchio and our clients. We want to again praise the courage of our two clients who came forward to expose both Falcicchio's sexual harassment and the significant flaws in the D.C. government's sexual harassment policy that allowed his behavior to go unchecked for too long. Their efforts, and the good that they did, led to significant policy changes in the D.C. government that we that we hope will improve the working conditions for city employees in the months and years to come," the statement reads.

 FOX 5 reached out to an attorney last known to represent Falcicchio via email and phone. We have not received a comment as of this writing.