Jun 21, 2023 - Politics
Town Talker

D.C. council members want outside investigation into John Falcicchio

John Falcicchio stands across from Mayor Muriel Bowser inside her office

John Falcicchio was Bowser's right-hand man in the mayor's office. Photo: Amanda Voisard/The Washington Post

A majority of D.C. council members want an outside investigation into John Falcicchio, the former deputy mayor who a report says was found to have sexually harassed an employee.

What I'm hearing: Lawmakers have a list of concerns. They want more scrutiny of the workplace under Falcicchio, especially as some of the employee's allegations were outside the scope of the original investigation led by Mayor Muriel Bowser's legal counsel office.

  • Council member Brianne Nadeau wants to know how much — if anything — the mayor's circle knew about the allegations against Falcicchio, who was also Bowser's chief of staff for eight years.
  • The investigation's findings were quietly posted online Saturday over a long holiday weekend — feeding the impression among some that the mayor's office was intentionally burying the news.

What they're saying: "Ultimately, the mayor's lawyer shouldn't be looking into the behavior of the mayor's chief of staff," council member Charles Allen said in a statement.

  • Along with Nadeau and Allen, council members Janeese Lewis George, Vincent Gray, Matt Frumin, Brooke Pinto, Zachary Parker, and Robert White want an external investigation.

The other side: Falcicchio has not returned Axios' attempts to contact him. The mayor's office didn’t respond to questions.

Catch up fast: Falcicchio made advances toward a city employee involving "unwelcome touching of a sexual nature" on two separate occasions last year, and he "exposed his sexual organs" during the second incident, according to a four-page summary of the investigation.

  • The full report isn't public. A city probe is ongoing into a second complaint against the powerful ex-official sometimes likened to a "shadow mayor."

Between the lines: The investigation was unable to substantiate several of the complainant's allegations, including "irregular hiring practices and promotions of employees rumored to have tolerated sexual advances" by Falcicchio, the summary said.

  • Such a claim would "require a more detailed investigation," the summary concluded.

💬 Town Talker is a weekly column on local politics and power. Drop me a line about the talk of the town: [email protected].


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