Holden denies 2011 sexual harassment claims

Holden denies 2011 sexual harassment claims

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Mayor Kip Holden is under fire from sexual harassment allegations made by a Kansas City woman in 2011.

The accusations stem from business the woman's company, technology consulting firm Tetra Tech, Inc., had with Baton Rouge in 2010. She claims Holden made inappropriate sexual advances towards her.

A lawsuit regarding this incident was filed in 2011 and was settled out of court a year later in 2012. The lawsuit never mentions Mayor Kip Holden by name, only mentioning "The Mayor of Baton Rouge".

The lawsuit has now resurfaced because of new research by the Kansas City newspaper Pitch.

Mayor Kip Holden has released a statement in response to the allegations:

"My recollection of the visit to Baton Rouge by several staff members of Tetra Tech is that we met as a group. My wife and I took one of the women to dinner and to my birthday party as our guest.

When the two women at Tetra Tech had their employment dispute, I was contacted by the company and I assured them that anything more than that did not occur.

I was not aware of a lawsuit being filed and have never been named as a party or even asked to be a witness.

It is my understanding the woman involved made similar accusations against other public officials who the company met with and both of the women involved in this dispute no longer work for the company. Sexual harassment in the workplace is a serious matter and complaints should be taken seriously.

This claim was made five years ago and the matter was apparently settled by the parties three years ago without my involvement. I have lived my entire adult life in the political arena and understand these types of things occur, as they are occurring now in a political race in Kansas City involving one of the parties. Fortunately, both my wife and I know the truth on this one."

Some metro council members note the timing of this story as Holden is in the middle of running for Lt. Governor.

Copyright WAFB 2015. All Rights Reserved.