• Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan denies grabbing staffer

    By: Essex Porter

    Updated:

    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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