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Ventura County Roundup / East | THOUSAND OAKS

Harassment Case Targeted Candidate

October 14, 1998|ANDREW STEVEN HARRIS

City Council candidate Wayne Possehl was the target of a sexual harassment complaint last year by a former receptionist, but the candidate says the allegations had no merit.

Possehl confirmed that the woman's case had been filed with the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, but he denied wrongdoing, saying he was the victim of a disgruntled employee who had been laid off.

The complaint, he said, included allegations that he created a hostile work environment by looking at the woman "the wrong way," or by stopping at her desk too often.

"If you're a male at a company in Southern California, then you're susceptible to this kind of twisted accusation," Possehl said. "If you're a reasonably successful male in corporate life, then you're vulnerable."

Officials at Possehl's employer, a Santa Monica computer company called Third Point Systems, said they settled the case but would not disclose the amount paid or comment further.

Possehl, 54, who works as a marketing consultant at the computer firm, said he was not part of the decision to settle the case. Possehl noted that he still works for the company, while the woman who accused him is no longer employed there.

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