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Posted On: May 2, 2009 by Peter M. LaSorsa

Activist Settles Sexual Harassment Case For $130,000

The Los Angeles City Council today approved a $130,000 settlement in a sexual harassment complaint by Mary Cummins-Cobb against departing Animal Services Director Ed Boks. The lawsuit, filed by animal activist Mary Cummins-Cobb alleged Boks engaged in "inappropriate and unprofessional conduct" including trying to hug and kiss her, calling her frequently and using vulgar comments with her. Boks resigned last month in the face of pressure from officials, with complaints over his decision-making and operation of the department.

Cummins-Cobb had been working with Boks to develop the Animal Services Web site, but she had to leave because of the way she was being treated. After leaving the post, Cummins-Cobb alleged in her lawsuit that she lost other jobs because of Boks. Cummins-Cobb filed a lawsuit as a result of being fired alleging sexual harassment, retaliation and the creation of a hostile work environment.

Cummins-Cobb also alleged that Boks would come to her residence drunk late at night and ask her out for a date.

According to the complaint, immediately after being hired Cummins-Cobb was subjected to inappropriate touching, feeling, grabbing, hugging, holding and kissing by Bok and subject to lewd and sexually explicit comments. Cummins-Cobb would receive up to 20 telephone calls each day from Bok asking her out on a date-eachtime Cummins-Cobb would reject Bok and the result was the creation of a hostile work environment.

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