'Sufficient evidence' Turner sexually harassed staffer, attorney staff says
Charlotte, NC - Charlotte City Council member Warren Turner sat down with WBTV Tuesday in an exclusive interview with Reporter Steve Crump. Turner and his attorneys denied the allegations of sexual harassment and inappropriate behavior involving Turner.
The District 3 city council member said he is being smeared, and that in coming days he and his lawyers will address the report page-by-page and point-by-point. We'll have some of our exclusive interview with Turner on WBTV News 3 starting at 5 p.m. and throughout our early evening newscasts.
By Tom Roussey -
CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - A report released Monday night says there is "sufficient evidence" a Charlotte city council member made sexually inappropriate comments to a city employee.
The report contains allegations from five different women that Democratic councilman Warren Turner made such comments to them. Click here to read the investigation report.
The investigation was done by attorneys hired by the city and will cost taxpayers an estimated $35,000.
The city council called for the investigation after it was revealed earlier this year that a city employee had accused Turner of sexually harassing her. Neither she nor any of the other accusers are identified by name in the report.
The report lists three different occasions going back to February 2008 when Turner allegedly sexually harassed the woman.
On two of those occasions, the report concludes it's likely Turner made the comments.
"In our opinion it's more likely than not that the comments were made in the first and second incident," said Valecia McDowell, an attorney who was part of the investigation.
McDowell said many of the other accusations were of the "he said, she said" variety, but she said there's a pattern of such accusations against Turner going back to the late 1980s.
McDowell says three other city employees accuse Turner of making sexually inappropriate comments to them, and the report includes allegations from a woman who accused Turner of doing the same thing to her as the two went through the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Academy in the late 1980s.
Turner admitted to physically threatening the woman but not to making sexually inappropriate comments to her. Turner said the threats are part of the reason he resigned from the police academy, but McDowell said there are records that show he was actually fired.
In the report it says Turner denies every single sexual harassment allegation, and Monday night he told the council there were "inconsistencies" in the accusations against him.
But the attorney says if Turner is telling the truth, that means six separate city employees are not telling the truth.
"We find it highly unlikely that all of these witnesses, many of whom share no significant relationship with one another, would provide untruthful testimony during out investigation," McDowell told the council.
Monday night was the first time Turner and the rest of the council saw the report.
Turner said he would respond to everything in it but did not say when.
"We will be notifying y'all at the proper time," he told members of the media as he left the city council's dinner meeting. "We will be making a comment."
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