Yakima County Coroner asked to resign after sexual harassment in - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Yakima County Coroner asked to resign after sexual harassment investigation

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YAKIMA COUNTY, WA - Yakima County Coroner Jack Hawkins is being accused of sexually harassing one of his employees.

A claim that Yakima County Commissioners took seriously and resulted in an investigation.

The employee told investigators that soon after she was hired, Hawkins began to behave inappropriately around her, including patting, hugging, touching, brushing against her, rubbing her shoulders, kissing her, blocking her movements, and following her around.

This also included sending her inappropriate messages.

The Deputy Coroner told investigators that he told Hawkins on more than one occasion that his behavior was inappropriate. 

The employee, who was hired part-time, also says that Hawkins promised her a full-time position within a year and would train her for the Deputy Coroner position.

Hawkins took the employee out on calls, had her attend autopsies, and gave her responsibilities outside of her job description.

When the investigation was finished, the commissioners sent Hawkins an email saying that they would not tolerate his behavior and asked him to resign.

Although they do not have the authority to remove Hawkins from his position, Commissioner Mike Leita says that they could not turn an blind eye and took the best action they could considering what happened.

Jack Hawkins was elected as County Coroner in 2014 and his term ends in 2018.