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Arroyo calls harassment charges an effort to damage his reputation

Felix G. Arroyo, as seen in April.
Felix G. Arroyo, as seen in April. –John Blanding/Globe Staff

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Felix G. Arroyo, the city’s former health services chief, is defiantly rejecting allegations that he sexually harassed a woman under his supervision, saying that he never created a hostile work environment and did not grab the woman by the back of her neck, as she asserted.

Arroyo was fired by Mayor Martin J. Walsh’s administration Aug. 24 after the woman accused him of sexual harassment. In a complaint filed with the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination on Aug. 17, she accused Arroyo of repeatedly harassing her in the two years she worked in his office, including spanking her buttocks and making inappropriate comments — allegations Arroyo wholly denies.

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Arroyo’s response came in a written statement to the commission last week that was obtained by the Globe. The document included copies of text messages and other correspondence between Arroyo, the woman, and members of his former staff that Arroyo said support his defense. It was his first extensive comment on the matter.

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