A city employee in Louisiana reportedly claimed that a lewd picture sent to her by Councilman Joe Stagni, which he has defended as part of a consensual relationship, was actually part of a larger pattern of inappropriate and unwanted behavior by the councilman.
Last month, a picture of Stagni in an undershirt from December, 2009 was given to the press through a public records request. The picture had been sent from Stagni’s phone to Annamaria Pizzolato, who was then internal auditor at City Hall in Kenner, Louisiana.
Here’s the picture:
Ed Muniz, who was mayor at the time, said his administration investigated the incident but determined that there was “no proof that whatever happened … was not consensual.” Stagni said the same thing in a statement, calling the relationship “inappropriate but consensual.”
“My actions and bad judgment had nothing to do with my duties and responsibilities as a public official,” he said. “They were private acts, but I take full responsibility for my irresponsible behavior.”
But now, according to sources for the New Orleans Times-Picayune, the report by officials who investigated the incident is a little less clear cut. One official reportedly wrote after interviewing Pizzolato: “Joe Stagni thinks he has a personal relationship with her but he is delusioned.”
According to the Times-Picayune’s sources, Pizzolato claimed that “Stagni groped her in public, repeatedly sent her text messages, kept watch on her house and made her uncomfortable in private meetings he requested ostensibly to discuss city business.” She also claimed that he got her a Christmas gift one year of “a big stuffed snowman, a couple of bottles of wine, small stuffed animals, a Copeland’s restaurant gift certificate, a $100 Victoria’s Secret gift certificate and $300 in cash.”
Pizzolato also reportedly said that she asked the Councilman to stop his advances, and they were not consensual.