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Sex suit could be problem for Bloomberg

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Adrienne
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« on: July 29, 2007, 04:55:50 am »

Sex suit could be problem for Bloomberg
By SARA KUGLER, Associated Press Writer

 


NEW YORK - Mayor Michael Bloomberg speaks his mind and that is a big part of his cachet in anything-goes New York. But new details from a sexual harassment lawsuit he settled in 2000 and other racy comments over the years show how his blunt style could prove a liability if he runs for president as an independent.

 
Before his election as mayor in 2001, Bloomberg was the target of a sexual harassment suit by a female executive who accused him of making repeated raunchy sexual comments while he was chief executive of his financial company, Bloomberg LP.

Bloomberg denied the accusations. Both sides were barred from commenting because of confidentiality agreements. Stu Loeser, the mayor's spokesman, said Friday he had no comment for this story.

The suit was a minor annoyance for Bloomberg during the mayoral race in 2001 and was not an issue in his 2005 re-election.

But the suit and other potential embarrassments resulting from Bloomberg's tendency to speak his mind are largely unknown to the rest of the country and are certain to be re-examined if the billionaire media mogul undertakes a third-party, self-financed presidential campaign for 2008.

Bloomberg has denied having any plans to seek the presidency. Yet he recently left the Republican Party to become an independent and has increased his out-of-state travel.

The harassment suit was filed in 1997 by former Bloomberg LP sales executive Sekiko Sakai Garrison. Bloomberg adamantly denied the allegations and settled the case in 2000 for an undisclosed amount without admitting any wrongdoing.
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