City Cast

Harassment Scandal Casts Doubt on DC Mayor's Leadership

Kaela Cote-Stemmermann
Kaela Cote-Stemmermann
Posted on June 29   |   Updated on July 5
John Falcicchio speaking at a groundbreaking ceremony last year.

John Falcicchio speaking at a groundbreaking ceremony last year. (Elvert Barnes/Flickr)

You’ve heard a lot of drama recently about John Falcicchio, Mayor Muriel Bowser’s top aide, and none of it’s good. Here’s the latest.

Falcicchio ran the city’s Department of Planning and Economic Development, was described as a “gatekeeper” for lots of city projects, and was Bowser’s close friend. They even vacationed together.

This year, three women, two of them city employees, accused him of sexual harassment. Apparently, very few city employees were surprised.

The most recent allegation came out Tuesday, via a scoop from Alex Koma of the Washington City Paper. The woman said she was seeking contracts with the D.C. government when Falcicchio propositioned her for sex, revealed his genitals, and denied her business opportunities when she refused.

The city’s investigation substantiated the first two accusers’ claims. And Bowser has promised a second, more thorough report. But D.C. Council is still calling for an independent probe, saying the city can’t conduct a fair review of its own offices. An external investigation could reveal workplace culture issues and any additional incidents.

It’s worth asking, how impartial can an investigation be, and how can city residents trust that the mayor is the right person to institute cultural reforms, when she’s been at the wheel for all of these alleged events?Alex Koma, Washington City Paper

Koma says Falcicchio's behavior was an open secret among city employees, and the city report confirmed that he’d been using the workplace as a dating pool.

On today’s City Cast DC, Koma gets into the details of what this says about the future of city government and how Bowser is tangled up in it all.

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