Washington DC

Former DC deputy mayor could face sex assault investigation

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D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser’s former chief of staff and Deputy Mayor John Falcicchio could be facing a sexual assault investigation a D.C. Council hearing revealed Wednesday.

Outside attorneys who conducted an independent review of the sexual harassment claims against Falcicchio found his behavior included sexual assault.

“This is very serious,” Councilmember Brianne Nadeau said. “What we're talking about is criminal behavior by the mayor's top advisor.”

D.C. Inspector General Daniel Lucas testified he made criminal referrals for possible prosecution to more than one law enforcement agency.

“Referrals have been made, but I'm not at liberty to discuss to whom and about what for fear of undermining their work,” Lucas said.

“So, you've made referrals to multiple law enforcement agencies?” Nadeau asked.

“Referrals have been made to those who have jurisdiction over the issue,” Lucas replied.

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He declined to specify whether those entities are federal or local.

The mayor’s legal counsel, which oversaw the internal investigation, also included sexual assault as a crime that is being investigated.

“Anything that is related to sexual assault, indecent exposure, any other crimes, we have offered to give to the attorney general's office,” Mayor’s Office of Legal Counsel Deputy Director Vanessa Natale testified.

None of the attorneys who testified Wednesday provided further details about the ongoing criminal investigations.

Councilmember Zachary Parker and Natale had a tense exchange over the battle between the D.C. attorney general and the Bowser administration over the attorney general’s request for evidence.

“Just seems outrageous that something of this magnitude and importance, in relation to the mayor's team, the mayor's team gets to determine what documents are therefore shared,” Parker said. “Now, again, I think we should be very concerned by the appearance of malpractice here, and it just—"

“Well, that's quite a word to use when you're talking to me, OK?” Natale interrupted. “Because that is not the case.”

“It was a word intentionally used, because to me, it strikes, it doesn't even just strike me as odd, it strikes me as you're hiding something,” Parker replied.

“I offered it to them,” Natale said. “How can I hide something I offered?”

During the hearing, the mayor’s legal counsel agreed to hand over some documents from its investigation to the attorney general.

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