Another woman has leveled accusations of unwanted physical contact involving a former aide to City Council President Kathy Graziano.
In a sworn deposition taken last Wednesday, Dena Fultz alleges that David Hathcock kissed her inappropriately during a June 2010 meeting at her Richmond home.
Jennifer Walle, a former public liaison to City Councilman Bruce Tyler, alleges that Hathcock inappropriately touched her two months earlier. Walle filed a civil suit, accusing Hathcock of battery and Graziano of retaliating against her.
Hayden Fisher, Walle’s lawyer, released the Fultz deposition in the case to news outlets Monday morning.
Fultz, former vice president of the Friends of Forest Hill Park Association and member of the Forest Hill Neighborhood Association, says in the deposition that she had regular contract with Hathcock and Graziano, who represents the neighborhood on City Council, and considered them friends.
During the June 2010 meeting, Fultz says she and Hathcock were working on a project when the conversation turned toward her pending divorce. When she grew emotional, Fultz says Hathcock “turned me around and hugged me as I cried.”
Hathcock then kissed her, Fultz says in the deposition. It’s unclear from the deposition whether Hathcock was meeting with Fultz in his capacity as a public liaison. Fisher, Walle’s lawyer, says that the project was “community oriented,” though he doesn’t provide specifics.
During questioning by David Corrigan, Hathcock’s attorney, Fultz acknowledges that Hathcock asked permission to kiss her. “I said ‘of course,’” Fultz says in her deposition, “expecting that he was just going to peck my cheek.” Echoing similar statements made by Walle, Fultz said during the deposition that she thought of Hathcock, 64, “like a grandfather.” Fultz is in her mid-40s, according to Fisher.
“It is unfortunate that Mr. Fisher insists on trying his case in the media,” Corrigan writes in an emailed statement to Style Weekly. “Nothing that was said in the deposition describes a sexual assault.”
In the deposition, Fultz also accuses Hathcock of emailing and calling excessively in the months following the alleged incident at her home. Fultz says in the deposition that she met with Graziano to discuss the incident in October, and that Graziano was “shocked.” Fultz says Graziano told her that she’d never known Hathcock to “do anything like that before.” The two then worked out a plan to send Hathcock an email, per Graziano’s suggestion, establishing “strict boundaries” between Hathcock and Fultz; Fultz also asked Graziano to keep the incident confidential, according to the deposition.
Hathcock retired as Graziano’s aide July 29. Lawyers for Graziano and Hathcock were informed that Fultz would be deposed a week before his retirement announcement, Fisher says.
Criminal charges related to the alleged incident involving Walle were dropped in May after Hathcock agreed to undergo workplace-sensitivity training and 100 hours of community service. The next hearing in Walle’s civil lawsuit against Hathcock and Graziano is Aug. 10.