2nd sexual harassment complaint filed against DC mayor’s former chief of staff

Another D.C. employee has come forward with allegations of sexual harassment against John Falcicchio, the mayor’s former chief of staff.

D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser said her office is investigating Falcicchio, who abruptly resigned earlier this month and now faces allegations from at least two city employees. Before he resigned, Falcicchio also served as the deputy mayor for planning and economic development.

“Our client courageously came forward with her complaint because she wants justice for herself and other survivors,” Attorneys Debra Katz and Kayla Morin, who represent both women who’ve come forward, said in a statement. “She intends to work with the District’s investigators to ensure accountability and we ask that you respect her request for privacy at this time.”

The first woman went public with her sexual harassment allegations March 20.

A statement from the mayor’s office was provided to WTOP on Friday.

“Mayor Bowser was notified by the MOLC about the second complaint on Wednesday evening March 29th and immediately directed the MOLC to investigate. The investigation of this complaint is in its preliminary stages. As stated previously, this matter will be handled confidentially to protect the privacy of the individual complainants,” the statement reads.

During a March 22 news conference about the investigation, Bowser and Vanessa Natale, deputy director for the Mayor’s Office of Legal Counsel, declined to comment on the number of women who’ve filed complaints or specific details of any of the complaints.

“I want to assure everyone that my office, our office, our investigator does their work objectively and without fear or favor,” Natale said. “There’s a process and we have our investigation. I can’t get ahead of the facts.”

Attorneys Katz and Morin said the second woman is bringing forth “serious allegations of sexual harassment,” but didn’t get into the nature of the alleged harassment.

“Her allegations are extremely disturbing and reflect a long-standing pattern of sexual harassment and predatory behavior by Mr. Falcicchio,” the statement went on to say.

The allegations of the first woman who came forward involved “unwelcome advances and sexual contact,” according to her attorneys.

Falcicchio was widely seen as one of the mayor’s most trusted confidants. His departure was initially announced without explanation in the final line of a March 17 news release sent out by the mayor’s office listing her new appointments to serve as chief of staff and deputy mayor for economic development.

That news release ended with: “We also thank Deputy Mayor John Falcicchio for his years of service to the District as he transitions to the private sector.”

Natale said they were waiting for Falcicchio to get an attorney before announcing the investigation.

“Despite the attorney for the complainant disclosing some information, we have a greater duty as the government to respect the privacy of the parties to the issue, as well as any potential witnesses and their colleagues,” Natale said during the March 22 news conference. “We were requested to keep it confidential, and we were also required to.”

Falcicchio had served as deputy mayor for planning and economic development since 2019 and as Bowser’s chief of staff since 2015.

WTOP’s Jack Moore contributed to this report.

Thomas Robertson

Thomas Robertson is an Associate Producer and Web Writer/Editor at WTOP. After graduating in 2019 from James Madison University, Thomas moved away from Virginia for the first time in his life to cover the local government beat for a small daily newspaper in Zanesville, Ohio.

Federal News Network Logo
Log in to your WTOP account for notifications and alerts customized for you.

Sign up