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Virg Bernero settles lawsuit with former intern who accused him of sexual assault and harassment

Virg Bernero
Posted at 6:01 PM, Oct 13, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-13 18:54:59-04

LANSING, Mich. — Ex-Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero has settled a lawsuit filed by one of his former interns, who alleged he sexually harassed her and touched her inappropriately.

Elizabeth Hart claimed that, when she was an intern on Bernero's re-election campaign in 2013 and 2014, he would call her late at night and she had to constantly fend off sexual conversations, advances and requests from him.

The lawsuit alleged that Bernero sexually assaulted Hart by touching her foot in a sexual manner on two occasions, asked her to show him one of her breasts and asked her to engage in a threesome.

The settlement gives Hart $4,500 before lawyer fees and includes an apology letter from Bernero that says, "I am deeply sorry for the pain that I have caused you. This was never my intent. I should have known better, and I do now. I wish you nothing but the best in the future.

The settlement also stipulates that both parties will "forgo pursuing other action against the other in any other matter."

The settlement included this apology letter from Bernero.
The settlement included this apology letter from Bernero.

Hart's attorney Manda Danieleski confirmed that the case is resolved but declined to comment further or to give details of the settlement. Danielski's co-counsel Neal Wilensky, who negotiated the settlement, also provided no additional comment.

Bernero did not immediately respond to a message left Wednesday evening.

Last month, Bernero's attorneys asked the court to stop an audio recording of a phone call with Councilwoman Kathie Dunbar from being used as evidence in the case.

Hart's attorneys said in court filings that, on the recording, Bernero said there was "no question" he had been "inappropriate" with Hart, wondered if Hart had "enjoyed it" and admitted that Hart was forced to "put up" with and "endure" his inappropriate conduct.

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