Second Youngstown city employee alleged advances by mayoral cand - News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio


Second Youngstown city employee alleged advances by mayoral candidate

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YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio - New information has been uncovered in connection with sexual harassment allegations against independent candidate for Youngstown Mayor DeMaine Kitchen.

21 News has learned exclusively that there is a second woman who alleged unwanted sexual advances by Kitchen on December 4, 2012.

Kitchen is already at the center of a sexual harassment investigation.

Attorneys for Lyndsey Hughes who serves as Youngstown's Director of Downtown Development, alleged she has repeatedly been on the receiving end of unwanted sexual advances by Kitchen over the past few years. Her attorneys claim there are text messages documenting the allegations.

Now, 21 News has uncovered a note inside the personnel file of another female city employee.

Marti Kane, the Human Resource Supervisor for the City of Youngstown, sent the note to Anthony Farris in the law department.

The contents of the document reads, "She explained he (DeMaine Kitchen) has been making inappropriate comments to her like calling her "baby" and "hot" and he touches her arm. She said she has told him not to make comments like that but he hasn't stopped."

At this time 21 News is not identifying the city employee who expressed concerns about Kitchen at the end of 2012.

We contacted Youngstown Law Director Anthony Farris to question what was done about the employee's concerns at that time.

Farris says, "No complaint was ever made to me. I got a note from Ms. Marti Kane (HR Supervisor) that certain things were said to her regarding DeMaine Kitchen. I then followed up with the city employee. She did not wish to proceed with an investigation or to make a formal complaint."

According to Attorney Farris, Kitchen was never informed about the woman's concerns.

Kitchen tells me by telephone, "I have no idea what she's talking about or where this comes from. The first I heard of it was yesterday. Now is a convenient time for it to be put out there, just weeks before the election. I've done nothing to her or anybody else, and I'm not going to get derailed from my campaign over these politically motivated allegations."

The city employee has declined to comment.

21 News has also obtained 900 pages of cell phone records between DeMaine Kitchen and Lyndsey Hughes. They do not reveal the content of any conversation, or if they were related to city business, only when the text messages or calls were made and returned.

Kitchen also now admits he can't locate his city cell phone now, but says the phone was missing long before the investigation began.

The city's law director also confirms that he's received a letter from Lyndsey Hughes' attorneys objecting to the independent investigator chosen by the city.  Farris says the letter questions whether the Akron investigator selected has a knowledge of sexual harassment issues, and if he can fairly look into whether the city failed to enforce it's own sexual harassment policy.  At the end of the letter Hughes' attorneys says they can not consent to the use of the investigator. 

Farris says to his knowledge the investigation is still underway.

Stayed with and 21 News for the latest on this developing story.

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