East Haven employee files complaint against mayor - Western Mass News - WGGB/WSHM

East Haven employee files sexual harassment complaint against mayor

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An employee has filed a sexual harassment complaint against Mayor Joseph Maturo. (WFSB file photo) An employee has filed a sexual harassment complaint against Mayor Joseph Maturo. (WFSB file photo)

Accusations have surfaced that claim the mayor of East Haven sexually harassed one of the town's long time employees.

The unidentified woman filed a complaint against Mayor Joseph Maturo. She said he made inappropriate comments and gestures at her. She also said it went on for years.

The mayor, however, has fired back.

"I have to say I don't think she is alone," said John Williams, the woman's attorney. "I've been given to understand that he is a bully in the workplace that he abuses a lot of workers in both sexes, in ways that aren't proper."

The alleged victim filed her complaint with the Commission of Human Rights and Opportunities. In it, she claimed that Maturo made comments about her breasts, grabbed himself in front of her and once exposed himself.

Maturo said that none of it was true.

He called the woman "a disgruntled employee who was on the verge of being terminated, chose to address her employment problems by filing a salacious complaint against me and the town of East Haven."

However, the woman's attorney said his client has been on leave for a family issue and was asked to come back to work.

"If he's saying he was getting ready to fire her, he has a funny way to show it," said Williams. "Demanding that she return to work, which is what's going on."

Williams said he is looking into whether the mayor or town was planning to violate her rights under the family leave act by firing her while she was using the leave.

East Haven residents said they don't know what to think.

"I've never heard anything before this so there's no reason to believe he did it," said P.J. Buzzanco.

Another resident, Phyllis Demaio, said "I think it's disgusting, but who knows if it's true or not, but it's disgusting."

Maturo is not facing criminal charges, and has 30 days to file a written statement addressing the allegations.

After that it could head to court, depending on the outcome of an investigation.

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