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Sexual Allegations Surface in Franklin Co. Auditor Scandal

COLUMBUS -- Sexual allegations may have influenced the apparent firing, and then re-hiring, of a top aide to the county auditor.

Jerzell Pierre-Louis, Franklin County Auditor Clarence Mingo's former chief of staff, claimed she was fired after confronting Mingo about alleged improper sexual behavior.

Months after she was let go, the auditor's office offered her a new, more lucrative position.

Mingo denied the allegations about improper sexual behavior, and denied that Pierre-Louis was fired. Yet, in an exclusive interview, Pierre-Louis' attorney said Mingo has given contradicting statements.

"In her mind, there was no question it was a termination," attorney Rex Elliott said.

Elliot also said "there were instances where (Pierre-Louis) was subject to, certainly, unwanted suggestions."

The conflicting reports continued in regards to how the allegations about improper behavior were settled. Mingo said he and Pierre-Louis met privately and "resolved that misunderstanding." Elliot, however, said resolution followed "many meetings and discussions with lawyers present."

Eventually, Pierre-Louis did withdraw her claims that Mingo had an improper relationship with another staff member. Her retraction came not long after she received the $135,000 consulting contract.

Elliot said Pierre-Louis still maintains Mingo acted improperly around her. He also emphasized that Mingo and the former chief of staff were not involved in a romantic relationship.

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