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Sexual harassment allegations leveled against candidate for Youngstown mayor

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Demaine Kitchen Demaine Kitchen

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio - Serious allegations are made against one of the candidates running for Youngstown mayor.

A city employee is accusing independent candidate Demaine Kitchen of sexual harassment. 

The female employee says the allegations go back to 2011 when Kitchen was a councilman and continued after he became the mayor's chief of staff. 

Kitchen tells 21 news that the allegations are untrue and are politically motivated. 

He says the woman making the accusations is an avid supporter of his opponent John McNally.

Kitchen says the allegations surfacing just five weeks before the election shows poor judgement by McNally and how desperate he is to win this election.

Youngstown law director Anthony Farris says the city will appoint an investigator who will most likely be someone from outside the city to thoroughly examine the allegations.

On another front, Kitchen's candidacy as an independent is being challenged in the Ohio Supreme Court.

Cecil Monroe, another independent candidate for mayor, wants the high court to remove Kitchen's name from the November ballot, claiming that Kitchen is actually a democrat.

And the Mayor's race got more attention last month when some leaders of the local African American community made allegations that Mahoning County Democratic Party Chairman Dave Betras employed "bullying" tactics against members of the party's Executive Committee.

During a mayoral debate, party District Leader Artis Gillam and Executive Committee members Annie Gillam and T.J. Rogers wore T-shirts supporting Kitchen's candidacy.

Betras allegedly told the three that they should give up their positions with the committee if they weren't supporting the party's endorsed candidate, John McNally.

Reverend Kenneth Simon claims Betras is harassing party leaders and is alienating blacks from the Democratic Party.

Betras is unapologetic saying that when members of the Executive Committee or District Leaders supported non-endorsed candidates in the past, he took the same action.

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