EXCLUSIVE: Sex harassment scandal at Atlanta city hall - CBS46 News

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EXCLUSIVE: Sex harassment scandal at Atlanta city hall

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(Source: WGCL) (Source: WGCL)
ATLANTA (CBS46) -

Its all in writing.

The City of Atlanta's Law Department recommended Mark Henderson be "terminated". Instead, emails CBS46 obtained show city leaders scrambled to create a new, lesser position for him, even when one wasn't available, and even after an HR investigation concluded he was in violation of sexual harassment policies.

Henderson was the Executive Director of Constituent Services for the city up until his demotion. He was also one of Mayor Kasim Reed's $10k bonus recipients.

Judith Richards worked for him.

In city documents, Henderson admitted a sexual relationship with Richards. Some of the racy text messages we obtained:

"Come up to the 4th floor... I want another kiss... please..."

But Richards claims it was unwanted and filed an HR complaint for harassment. She was placed on leave and he suspended, but both kept their jobs.

We obtained a phone conversation between the two, provided by Richards, in which a man she claims is Henderson, tells her:

"I still got your back 100 percent and hopefully you still have mine."

He then appears to ask:

"Did you report me? Or anything like that?"

The conversation, an apparent effort to silence the blossoming scandal. Now, Richards has hired veteran sexual harassment attorney Eleanor Attwood, and sources say some city leaders have already been put on notice.

In other texts, Henderson appears to brag about getting people jobs, and Richards alludes that Henderson promised he would talk to Mayor Reed about a promotion.

You can read other text messages below:

We spoke with Henderson Monday, who admitted, "This is incredibly damaging for me."

He didn't dispute the evidence out there but said there is more to the story.

His attorney however instructed him not to talk in detail about the case when he was offered a chance to defend himself further.

Richards was also instructed by her attorney not to talk about the case. She also declined to say when and if a formal lawsuit would be filed, only saying, "no lawsuit yet."

Tonight, the president of the Atlanta City Council told us our reporting deserves answers and she will be demanding answers of her own.

The mayor's office has not yet responded to our requests for comment.

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