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Aide to attorney general quits amid sexual harassment claims

March 11, 2021 GMT

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — A top aide to Louisiana’s attorney general resigned Thursday after being accused of sexual harassment by at least two women, allegations he denied.

In his resignation letter to Attorney General Jeff Landry, Pat Magee said he is a victim of false and unjust accusations.

The letter was made public Thursday afternoon after Magee told The Acadiana Advocate he was resigning. Also Thursday, The Advocate reported new allegations of improper behavior from a second woman who once worked for Magee.

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The newspaper reported that the woman filed a letter with the Attorney General’s Office on Tuesday alleging Magee engaged in sexual harassment that created a hostile work climate. Among the allegations: The woman said Magee once put his hand on her leg in an “overly familiar manner” at a post-work gathering. And she said Magee often asked women to handle minor cases such as traffic tickets, while men were often assigned to more serious crimes.

The latest allegations, which the woman provided to The Advocate, are in addition to accusations contained in a November complaint alleging that Magee made statements about female employees’ appearances and how that should determine their work assignments. According to the complaint, he once insisted that a certain employee should be assigned to a trial “because male jurors would want to have sex with her.” It also alleged he used sexual slang in describing one woman’s looks and declined to promote a different woman because, according to a person who filed the complaint, he feared “he would not be able to control himself sexually if she worked that closely with him.”

Magee was suspended for 38 days and docked $20,559 in pay after the complaint was filed. A law firm’s independent investigation following that complaint found that Magee’s behavior did not rise to the level of harassment.

An official in the state Department of Justice called the investigation “independent and thorough” in a statement this week. The woman who filed the latest complaint told The Advocate that she does not believe the investigation was thorough.