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Sexual Harassment Complaint Led To Resignation Of D.C.'s Head Of Economic Development

Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development John Falcicchio presents the city's plan for affordable housing in the Rock Creek West planning district.

Mayor Muriel Bowser's former top deputy, John Falcicchio, has been accused of sexually harassing a D.C. government employee, days after his abrupt departure Friday.

Attorneys Debra Katz and Kayla Morin announced Monday that they are representing a woman who reported "serious allegations of sexual harassment," including unwanted sexual advances and contact, about Falcicchio to the D.C. government. 

"It is our understanding that this behavior is longstanding and our client is cooperating fully with the investigation, which Mayor Bowser initiated immediately," Katz and Morin said in a joint statement Monday afternoon, DCist reported. "Our client is courageous. She came forward to ensure accountability and protect other women."

Bowser announced the departure of Falcicchio, who served as both her chief of staff and deputy mayor for planning and economic development, in a press release Friday afternoon naming his replacements and saying Falcicchio was leaving government for the private sector.

In a Monday press conference, Bowser said her administration had opened an investigation but didn't specify its nature, only saying it had nothing to do with any business impropriety.

A spokesperson for the deputy mayor's office declined to comment and referred questions to the Mayor's Office of Legal Counsel. The OLC didn't immediately respond to Bisnow's request for comment.

Falcicchio was the only chief of staff Bowser has had since she first took office in 2015 — her re-election last year ensured she'd be among the longest-serving mayors in the District's history. He was named deputy mayor in 2019 when he replaced Brian Kenner, who left the D.C. government to join Amazon

Falcicchio was replaced as chief of staff by his longtime deputy, Lindsay Parker, and as DMPED by the head of the Department of General Services, Keith Anderson.