Everett, MA- As leaders politicians are supposed to live up to a higher standard, but we often learn that being a person of esteem doesn’t exclude a person of bad behavior.
The Boston Globe reported that four women have come forward, alleging Everett Mayor Carlo DeMaria sexually harassed them over the past decade.
DeMaria denies the allegations, claiming opponents to Everett’s casino project, which the Mayor backs, are behind them.
One of the women to come forward is the mother of a soldier, who approached the Mayor to get his advice about a support group for military members. According to the Boston Globe, the woman, who asked to remain anonymous, alleges that during her meeting with DeMaria, he escorted her in his office, closed the door and locked it. DeMaria sat “uncomfortably close to her,” placed his hand on her thigh, and when she tried to leave he put his arm around her and “groped her breast,” the Globe says.
On a few other occasions when the soldier’s mother would run into the married DeMaria, he would try to hug and kiss her, ask her for dates, and told her she was attractive.
A former city employee and two employees for Honey Dew Donuts, a local chain owned by DeMaria, also alleges the mayor subjected them to sexual harassment. According to the Globe, the city employee resigned abruptly in 2012 after DeMaria allegedly asked her for oral sex. One of the former Honey Dew employees allege he forced her to touch his genitals. The other Honey Dew employee said he repeatedly asked her for sex
Although, DeMaria denies it, the Globe reported that he previously faced sexual harassment allegations and settled out of court with a former donut shop employee.
So far, the women haven’t filed formal complaints, but a civil suit is possible.
Sometimes, sexual harassment can be a matter of the harasser not knowing or understanding what behaviors are appropriate or inappropriate. These types of misunderstandings would be understandable for some workplaces, but the Mayor of city or town should know better.
It is unclear if the allegations against Mayor DeMaria are true at this time, but if they are he wouldn’t be the first Mayor to face such allegations. Last year, San Diego Mayor Bob Filner faced a very public fall from grace after over a dozen women came forward alleging he sexually harassed them. In the end, Filner admitted to the harassment, resigned as Mayor, was convicted of sexually battery and sentenced to house arrest. The city of San Diego was also forced to settle costly sexual harassment suits with some of Filner’s victims.
Experts and sexual harassment attorneys understand that sexual harassment is typically about power. Higher-ups subjecting a subordinate to sexual harassment is an all too familiar scenario. When a harasser is in a position of power, their victims are reluctant to come forward because they fear reprisals. This also the harasser to continue their behavior for years on end.
Regardless of a person’s position, sexual harassment and retaliation are illegal in the workplace. If a person routinely faces inappropriate behavior, a sexual harassment lawyer will help them end the harassment and seek compensation for their emotional distress.