As the city begins its investigation into allegations of misconduct involving a prominently placed City Council adviser, a lawyer for the woman at the center of the controversy says she plans to pursue other remedies.
Jennifer Walle, the public liaison to Councilman Bruce Tyler, will file civil battery charges against council adviser David Hathcock perhaps as early as this week, says Walle's lawyer, Hayden Fisher. Hathcock is the public liaison to City Council President Kathy Graziano.
In a filing with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Walle alleges that Hathcock made “unwanted sexual advances” toward her in April.
In copies of the filing obtained by Style Weekly, Walle writes that after reporting the alleged incident to the council president at an August meeting, Graziano told her that she could either “look for a new job or ‘get over it.'”
Graziano didn't respond to a request for comment on Walle's intention to file battery charges by press time. In an e-mail last week, Graziano told Style, “I expect that sworn statements will be significantly at variance with her recollection.” Attempts to reach Hathcock were unsuccessful.
At the Jan. 10 City Council meeting, Graziano says she followed proper procedures, and that “Mrs. Walle was invited to make a written complaint or complaints necessary to initiate a formal investigation into the allegations. She declined to do so.”
City policy requires that a formal complaint be submitted before an investigation can be initiated.
Asked why Walle did not submit a complaint following that meeting, Fisher says Graziano told his client not to. Graziano also pushed Walle to file a complaint against Bruce Tyler, Fisher says.
As of Style's press time, Hathcock remained on the job. If the investigation should turn up evidence of misconduct by Hathcock, or another member of council, “the appropriate response will be made,” Graziano vowed on Jan. 10.