YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – The attorney representing Lindsey Hughes has issued a statement on her behalf surrounding the sexual harassment investigation of Youngstown mayoral candidate Demaine Kitchen.
In the statement, Attorney Andrew Margolius contends that the city of Youngstown should not talk about the case and should state that “there is a proper investigation going on, it is about sensitive matters and should discontinue its effort to engage television and the media in this process.”
The statement calls for city officials to “preserve evidence, including the cell phone of the alleged harasser” and should also obtain a neutral investigator and “proceed while respecting the privacy of the woman harassed.”
Youngstown Law Director Anthony Farris said an investigator has been assigned to the case. Steve Sample of Sample Security and Investigation, Inc. in Akron spent 23 years as a detective with the Summit County Sheriff’s Office before retiring last year.
Lawyers for Special Projects Director Lyndsey Hughes claim she first complained about then-councilman DeMaine Kitchen in early 2011, saying he touched her and made unwanted advances. The lawyers said Hughes turned to then-Council President Chuck Sammarone, who reportedly told Kitchen to stop what he was doing, but didn’t follow the city’s established policies for dealing with harassment cases.
As part of her complaint, Hughes claims Kitchen renewed his unwanted conduct in July of this year while working as chief of staff for Sammarone. Her lawyers claim she was suspended from her job this summer in retaliation for her complaints.
Mayor Sammarone wouldn’t comment on the case, saying he doesn’t want to risk compromising the investigation, which he said should be completed in the next couple weeks.