D.C. Mayor Marion Barry said yesterday that his administration "will not tolerate the feeling that sexual harassment and sexual abuse" exists within the city government.
In a response to a question at a press conference yesterday, Barry said that the sensitivity of the issue makes it difficult to investigate . . . but we're looking into it."
Barry said that his office is reviewing a U.S. District Court judge's ruling Wednesday that Delbert C. Jackson, the director of the D.C. Department of Corrections, and three male supervisors there made "improper sexual advances" to a female employe.
City administrator Elijah B. Rogers said later that a task force directed by acting D.C. Corporation Counsel Judith Rogers is studying procedures within the city government that would provide a review for employes' allegations of sexual harassment.
"If anyone is found guilty" of such conduct, Rogerse said, "then we're going to take the appropriate administrative action.
"We're not going to have it in this administration, and that's from the top all the way to the lowest" employes, Rogers said.
Rogers' special assistant, Marie Dias, said yesterday that the task force members, who included District Police Chief Burtell Jefferson and three of the mayor's top aides, submitted a report to the corporation counsel's office last week.
The task force was organized shortly before District of Columbia Personnel director George R. Harrod was charged with assault by a D.C. Superior Court grand jury in connection with an incident involving a female staff aide. Harrod was placed on administration leave after the indictment.
Meanwhile, corrections director Jackson yesterday angrily denied the finding by Judge George L. Hart Jr. that he made "improper sexual advances" to a female employe.
Jackson described Hart's ruling as "garbage", and said he strongly resented Harths finding that supervisors in the department apparently considered such advances "as standard operating procedure, a fact of life, a normal condition of employment in the office."
Judge Hart, in an interview yesterday said "I think for employes to have to put up with that kind of behavior is completely outrageous."
In his ruling Wednesday, Hart found that Jackson and the three other male supervisors had made "improper sexual advances" to Sandra G. Bundy between 1972 and 1975. Hart rejected Bundy's contention that her prompt rejection of those overtures led the supervisors to delay or deny her job promotions.
Two of the three supervisors, C. Lawerence Swain, then director of community services for the department, and James Gainey, vigorously denied Bundy's allegations during a three-day trial before Hart last month.
The third supervisor, Arthur Burton, resigned from the department a year ago and did not appear at the trial. Burton says yesterday that he would have no comment on Hart's findings. Swain and Gainey also declined comment yesterday.
Bundy, 45, a $17,000-a-year vocational rehabilitation specialist, works in a halfway house in northeast Washington where she helps ex-offenders get jobs.
Bundy said yesterday that she was disappointed that she lost her discrimination claim but saw a partial victory in Hart's finding that "improper sexual advances" had been made.
"Too many women just take this as something they have to put up with," said Bundy's lawyer, Arthur D. Chotin, at one time an attorney with the civil rights division of the Justice Department.
Anne Turpeau, chairperson of the D.C. Commission on Women, said yesterday that Bundy's willingness to take her case to court-and make the allegations public-was a gain for women employes in District of Columbia government.
"I think there is a need for more public discussion of these issues and there needs to be more information provided to women about what their rights are under the law and what constitutes sexual harassment."
Both the city administrator's office, and the Organization for Black Activist Women here, recently have urged city employes to speak up if they have complaints about sexual harassment. Officials for both say they have received few such complaints CAPTION: Picture, Sandra Bundy: ruling on her case causes furor. By Gerald Martineau-The Washington Post