New allegations against Richmond City Council

Jennifer Walle
Jennifer Walle

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) – There's another story developing at city hall. There are new allegations from a former council aide who says she was wrongfully fired.

Jennifer Walle, the former liaison for Councilman Bruce Tyler, just filed a new complaint that claims she was fired because she reported sexual harassment allegations months ago.

City Council President Kathy Graziano laughed at the new allegations and told NBC12 Jennifer Walle has a vivid imagination all while denying the accusations against her. Walle's attorney however says otherwise.

New allegations in the discrimination case against Richmond City Council have both parties talking. This time they're explaining their side of a new EEOC complaint claiming former liaison, Jennifer Walle was wrongfully fired.

"That's a personnel issue and you will have to engage the people who brought about that termination with that question," said Graziano.

Just before Thursday night's city council meeting, we caught up with Council President Kathy Graziano, who's named in the complaint. It claims Walle was fired after she came forward with sexual harassment allegations against Graziano's aide, David Hathcock.

"It was very difficult to go into work day after day," said Jennifer Walle.

Walle spoke with us back in May about the allegations but did not return our phone calls today. Her attorney spoke for her.

"There's a lot of retaliation of her by Ms. Graziano and others trying to make her environment very hostile and very stressful and difficult to work in," said attorney, Hayden Fisher.

"Jennifer and her attorney are attempting to try this complaint in the media," said Graziano.

Graziano read a brief statement to us addressing the alleged retaliation firing complaint. Walle claims in the new complaint that council members told her Graziano made comments, referring to Walle as a "p**** tease" and that she enjoyed the offensive touching by Mr. Hathcock. We asked Graziano about those comments.

"I believe I've given you my statement," said Graziano as she walked off.

Hathcock reached an agreement in his harassment case. The charges were dropped and he agreed to take sensitivity training and do community service.

A hearing about a "civil" lawsuit against Graziano and Hathcock, goes before a judge in August. That judge will decide if Graziano can be sued or if she's protected by sovereign immunity.

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