A former Hartford city employee has filed a complaint with the state Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities, alleging the council president of the city Court of Common Council sexually harassed her and another colleague and created hostile work environment.
The complaint names Thomas J. Clarke II, president of the Court of Common Council; Olga Colon, the executive assistant for the city Court of Common Council; and John Bazzano, the clerk for the city of Hartford.
Colon, the complaint alleges, made comments about the former employee’s work attire and exhibited other inappropriate behaviors.
Bazzano, who was the former employee's supervisor at the time of her employment, allegedly did not report her complaints to Human Resources.
"I find the timing of this complaint suspicious, and am concerned that there may be political agendas at work. That said, it was never my intention to upset, offend, or make anyone uncomfortable and to that extent that I might have done so, I apologize profusely. I look forward to a full and transparent exploration of this issue and I pledge my full cooperation. As this involves a city matter, we are being represented through the Office of the Corporation Counsel and it would be inappropriate for me to comment further," Clarke said in a statement.
Colon did not provide comment.
DeVaughn Ward, the attorney for the former employee, said his client struggled for a very long time about bringing forward the allegations.
"The behavior detailed in this complaint is inexcusable from a person in a position of authority. Based on the text messages included in this complaint, I do not believe that Council President Clarke can continue to serve in a position of leadership in the City of Hartford," Mayor Luke Bronin said in a statement.
Check back for updates in this developing story.