Former D.C. personnel director George R. Harrod denied at his trial in D.C. Superior Court yesterday that he assaulted a woman staff aide when she attempted to end their sexual relationship.
Harrod, who was placed on administrative leave after his indictment on an assault charge in April 1979 and later retired, testified that he treated the woman, Dolly Honablew, 30, "like a father," and that he had never hit or beaten her.
Harrod began his hour-long testimony at the end of the fourth day of the trial. More than 20 witnesses, including Honablew, have testified during the proceeding. Witnesses have included other personnel office staff, members of Honablew's family and character witnesses for Harrod.
Honablew, who was a secretary in Harrod's office, testified earlier this week that Harrod coerced her into having an affair with him shortly after she came to work in 1976 and that the affair continued until August 1978, a year after she was married, when she attempted to break it off.
Harrod's attorneys, Dovey J. Roundtree and John Shorter, have argued that Honablew was "fanciful" and had an explosive temper. They said she had been angered on the day of the alleged assault because Harrod had chastised her for using marijuana and had penalized her for tardiness at work.
Under questioning by Roundtree, Harrod said Honablew "got to raving" after he warned her there would be a crackdown on marijuana in the office. He added, "I have never touched her . . . . I don't hit people like that, and above all, I don't hit any women."
Honablew had testified that Harrod himself used marijuana and was angry because he was warning her not to use it. Harrod yesterday denied he smoked marijuana.
Harrod is expected to continue his testimony today and then be cross-examined by Assistant U.S. Attorney James N. Owens. Lawyers for both sides said they expect the trial to end early next week.