Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan is denying that she forcibly grabbed a staffer's face and presides over a toxic work atmosphere.
The alleged face grabbing took place during an office birthday party last July.
A former aide said the Mayor forcibly grabbed her face during a discussion they were having, which triggered memories of prior domestic abuse for the aide.
The details are in documents first reported by Crosscut.
Durkan denies grabbing the woman's face. In a statement, she said, "While my recollection of this brief interaction is different than the employee's, I learned this moment caused the employee to re-experience past pain - for that, I'm sorry."
A second employee said she was driven out of the Mayor's office by a toxic atmosphere, something the Mayor and her aides deny.
In this case, the claims could cost the city more than $1 million.
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