Yakima County Coroner Jack Hawkins is being urged to resign after an investigation supported sexual harassment complaints from one of his office’s employees.
As a result of the findings by an independent investigation, county commissioners are urging Hawkins to resign.
Hawkins disputes the allegations, and said he plans to talk to an attorney.
“It’s not completely true; It just isn’t,” Hawkins said of the allegations Tuesday afternoon. “I don’t think I should make too many comments at this point. I’m not going to resign at this point. I’m going to have to talk to somebody.”
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An elected official, Hawkins cannot be fired by the commission.
In early August, office specialist Dalia Chavez alleged that Hawkins made unwelcome physical contact with her several times since he hired her in May, according to a two-page summary report of the investigation’s findings.
The report says the investigation supports Chavez’s complaints of Hawkins rubbing her shoulders, hugging and kissing her and blocking her movements, the report said.
The report says Hawkins continued this the behavior despite his deputy telling him on several occasions that it was inappropriate.
The investigation was conducted by Seabold Group of Seattle.
Commissioners sent Hawkins an email Tuesday urging him to step down from office.
“Based on the findings of the investigator, the Board of Yakima County Commissioners is requesting that you submit your resignation as County Coroner,” Commission Chairman Make Leita said in the email.