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Complaint released alleging state lawyer's sexual comments

8 months 2 weeks 4 days ago Wednesday, March 10 2021 Mar 10, 2021 March 10, 2021 5:34 AM March 10, 2021 in News
Source: Associated Press

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — A harassment complaint filed last year against a top aide to Louisiana’s attorney general says the aide used sexual terms or other inappropriate language to describe women he worked with and supervised, according to a newspaper that won a legal battle to see the document.

The November complaint against Pat Magee was released this week after Attorney General Jeff Landry lost an unusual state lawsuit. The suit was filed against a reporter for The Advocate and The Times-Picayune, who had requested the public record.

A statement issued by Landry’s office noted disciplinary actions taken against Magee. And it stressed that an independent investigation of the allegations found that Magee had said inappropriate things but that his behavior did not include sexual overtures or constitute sexual harassment.

The complaint alleges Magee made statements on whether women should be assigned to cases based on their appearance, insisting once that one woman should be assigned to a trial “because male jurors would want to have sex with her.” He used sexual slang in describing one woman’s looks and declined to promote one woman, allegedly telling the person who filed the complaint that he feared “he would not be able to control himself sexually if she worked that closely with him.”

Also among the allegations in the complaint: Magee disagreed with a decision to bring one woman onto a case, calling the lawyer “old and ugly.”

The unidentified person who filed the complaint wrote that the decision to file came after a woman employee said Magee “had also been touching her and making inappropriate remarks,” the complaint said.

“The location of the touching was nothing that would be considered criminal in my opinion but I could tell it was making her uncomfortable,” the complaint said.

Magee was suspended for 38 days and docked $20,559 in pay after the complaint was filed. He has returned to work but has not commented publicly on the harassment complaint.

The Advocate received a lightly redacted version of the complaint Monday, the result of last week’s court ruling in favor of reporter Andrea Gallo.

Responding to a request for comment from Landry or Magee about the newly released complaint, the Attorney General’s Office released a statement from Sandra Schober, the Deputy Director of the Louisiana Department of Justice’s Administrative Services Division.

“I oversaw the independent and thorough investigation conducted by Taylor Porter Law Firm, which discovered that Mr. Magee engaged in inappropriate verbal conversations with colleagues as well as with third party affiliates of the LADOJ. It also concluded that his conduct did not rise to the level of sexual harassment,” Schober wrote.

She outlined the disciplinary steps taken against Magee, including the suspension, lost pay and “training courses to assist in developing his emotional intelligence, professionalism in the workplace, conflict management, and leadership skills.”

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