Hartford council president asked to resign by other members

HARTFORD — The president of the Hartford City Council has been asked to resign by the other eight members of the city's governing body.

The council members issued a statement Thursday in the wake of a complaint filed against Thomas "TJ" Clarke II with the state Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities. The complaint filed last month by a former aide, became public on Tuesday.

Among other things, the woman accuses Clarke of making inappropriate comments and sending her sexually charged text messages.

Clarke has issued an apology, saying he never meant to "upset, offend, or make anyone uncomfortable." But, he also said he believed there were "political agendas at work."

The Hartford Courant reported Wednesday that Clarke has a prior citation for touching a woman at a 2013 budget meeting.

City Council released the following statement:

"We on City Council have had an opportunity to discuss these matters of sexual harassment amongst ourselves: Trust has been broken, judgement called into question, and our ability to work together has been compromised.

Based on the evidence presented to date, the conduct is unbecoming of an elected official, therefore we call for the Council President to resign from his leadership role. We further believe that it is in the best interest of the City and public trust if he steps down from Council.

These recent events require a full examination of the City’s sexual harassment policies to ensure we are not condoning or permitting conduct which is unacceptable, and to ensure an environment where every employee feels safe and has the confidence and comfort level to bring complaints to the appropriate authority."

***Associated Press contgributed to this report***