While Puyallup Mayor Rick Hansen admits that his conduct toward a fellow City Hall employee was wrong, he denies it ever being sexual.
In an interview with KOMO News on July 18, Hansen said that he wasn't making sexual advances when he came up behind a female employee at the copy machine, touched her shoulders and said, "What would you say if I told you I was a little bit afraid of you?"
He explained to KOMO that he was just complimenting her athletic physique.
When asked about the same employee's allegations that he touched her abdomen during a conversation a week later, he said he was just pointing out that her shirt matched the color of the cancer ribbons at City Hall.
Her blouse was reported to be fuschia-colored -- not purple.
The Puyallup City Council formally admonished Hansen at Tuesday's council meeting for his conduct. Former city council member Nicole Martineau told the council that she too was made uncomfortable by Hansen -- more than a year ago, she said he put his hands on her shoulders and shook her back and forth. Hansen denied any recollection of that event.
Hansen has attended sensitivity trainings since these allegations surfaced, but there are no further plans to discipline him for his conduct. He told KOMO he's glad the employee came forward, because now he understands that the only touch acceptable in the workplace is a handshake.
Do you think admonishment by the city council and coverage in the media is enough of a punishment for Puyallup Mayor Rick Hansen, or should further action be taken at City Hall?