Editorial: Hartford Council President TJ Clarke Must Resign

Hartford City Council President Thomas "TJ" Clarke II must resign without delay.

He has been charged with sexual harassment, supported by extraordinary evidence that makes it clear that he cannot continue to lead the council.

The complaints — which also accuse City Clerk John Bazzano and council assistant Olga Colon of harassment and discrimination — come from a former council aide.

The former employee wrote that Mr. Clarke "began to make inappropriate sexual comments or make references to my boyfriend's sexual prowess."

Text messages from Mr. Clarke, photographs of which are included in the complaint, are wildly inappropriate. They show a pattern of disrespect.

Mr. Clarke, in a written statement, did not deny any of the charges — but, in an astonishingly bad move, he wrote that "I find the timing of this complaint suspicious, and am concerned that there may be political agendas at work."

Another guy who doesn't get it. It's not about timing or agendas. It's about Mr. Clarke's chronic sexualization of a female employee and his feelings of entitlement to treat her that way.

Mr. Clarke was also cited by the city in 2013 for inappropriately touching a woman while on the job. The city’s assistant human resources director at the time wrote that “I told him the touching had to stop.”

Mayor Luke Bronin expressed doubts about Mr. Clarke's ability to lead, and he's right to. Nobody with that kind of mindset can remain in a leadership position.

For his clear lack of respect for a colleague and an inability to understand the leadership role of city council president, Mr. Clarke must resign.

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