Sexual harassment complaint filed against DC mayor’s former chief of staff

Days after one of her former top advisers abruptly resigned, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser says her office has launched an investigation into John Falcicchio, and attorneys for a woman who works for the District say the probe is related to “serious allegations of sexual harassment.”

“We represent an employee of the District of Columbia who came forward to report serious allegations of sexual harassment by former Chief of Staff and Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development John Falcicchio,” the statement from attorneys Debra S. Katz and Kayla Morin said. “It is our understanding that this behavior is longstanding and our client is cooperating fully with the investigation, which Mayor Bowser initiated immediately.”

The statement went on to say: “Our client is courageous. She came forward to ensure accountability and protect other women. Given the gravity of our client’s allegations – which involve unwelcome advances and sexual contact – we ask the media to respect her privacy. ”

At a news conference earlier Monday, Bowser said an attorney in the Mayor’s Office of Legal Counsel alerted her late last week to an allegation involving Falcicchio, who also served as Bowser’s chief of staff and was widely seen as one of her most trusted confidants.

Calling it a “sensitive matter with privacy concerns,” Bowser declined to provide any specifics of any alleged wrongdoing on Falcicchio’s part, saying that the “circumstances of his departure led me to initiate an investigation.”

She said the investigation, which is being carried out by the mayor’s legal office, does not involve financial improprieties. She said any findings related to the investigation may not be made public.

In an email to WTOP, an official with SDK Knickerbocker, the law firm representing the D.C. employee, said the complaint was filed internally and “we have every confidence that the Mayor is handling this properly.”

News of Falcicchio’s departure was announced without explanation Friday afternoon in the final line of a 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 — the two roles Falcicchio held.

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.”

Falcicchio had served as deputy mayor for planning and economic development since 2019 and as Bowser’s chief of staff since 2014.

Katz, one of the attorney’s representing the D.C. employee filing the suit, is one of the lawyers representing more than 40 former employees of the Washington Commanders who alleged widespread sexual harassment.

Jack Moore

Jack Moore joined as a digital writer/editor in July 2016. Previous to his current role, he covered federal government management and technology as the news editor at, part of Government Executive Media Group.

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