J. David Cox, president of the American Federation of Government Employees, the largest federal employee union, has been accused of sexual harassment by numerous subordinates, Bloomberg reports. According to Brett Copeland, Cox’s former communications director, his boss repeatedly told him he loved him and stuck his tongue in Copeland’s ear. “It was embarrassing, and it was disgusting, and it was kind of unbelievable that it happened,” Copeland said of the encounter. During a business trip, Cox allegedly urged him to have a drink in his hotel room, and invited him to check out his jacuzzi. Copeland resigned as soon as they returned to Washington.
“I really love the union, I believe in the mission. But I cannot imagine ever having to work with him again,” he said. Bloomberg spoke to 10 men and women who all described experiencing or witnessing inappropriate behavior by the union president. Cox, who was elected to a third three-year term last year, has denied the allegations, calling them “scurrilous, politically-motivated attacks,” but agreed to take a leave of absence while there is an internal investigation, according to AFGE.