So what now for David Hathcock? An aide to City Council President Kathy Graziano, he stands charged with one count of misdemeanor assault and one count of misdemeanor sexual battery.
Hathcock, 64, was arrested last week after the City Council liaison who accuses him of groping her swore to the charges to a magistrate. Hathcock's employment status remains unchanged as of press time.
But should he remain on the job? One councilman says no, now that the city has wrapped up its investigation into the accusations — which included a look into Graziano's handling of the situation.
“I think he should be put on leave,” City Councilman Marty Jewell says. Jennifer Walle, the liaison who filed the complaints, should be placed on temporary leave as well, Jewell says. Because of their positions, both are privy to sensitive information concerning the city's investigation, he says.
Shortly after Walle's accusations came to light, her lawyer, Hayden Fisher, provided members of news media with an e-mail issued by City Attorney Allen Jackson. Sent to members of council Jan. 11, it indicates Jackson's preference that the city's investigation be conducted with an eye toward preparing a defense against her charges.
Although the city has not released its findings, news reports that investigators had cleared Graziano of any wrongdoing circulated last week. According to Jewell, the investigation is “not worth the paper it's printed on.”
“I consider it ludicrous that anyone could be a true finder of facts, while at the same time providing a defense for the city,” Jewell says.
Despite the e-mail's release, Jewell says there's no support on council for placing Hathcock on temporary leave. City Council's chief of staff, Daisy Weaver, says no policy exists for placing a council employee on leave while criminal charges are pending.
Walle previously offered to drop her $550,000 lawsuit against Graziano, Hathcock and the city if she received an apology and assurances the city would address the situation. “It should have been done a while ago,” Fisher says. “Initially she didn't want to file criminal charges. But she's been receiving a lot of gossip comments about how the incident couldn't have been that serious because she didn't.”
Attempts to reach both Graziano and Hathcock were unsuccessful. Hathcock's first trial date is set for March 30.