Transportation Ministry Chief Pleading Guilty to Sexual Harassment Is Out of Civil Service for Life

Under the deal, Alex Langer will resign from his job, be docked one month's salary and receive a reprimand.

The director general of the Transportation Ministry is pleading guilty to sexually harassing several employees and promoting those who slept with him, and has agreed never to hold a civil service job again, under a plea bargain reached with the Civil Service Commission as part of disciplinary proceedings.

Under the deal, which is slated to be submitted to the civil service's disciplinary tribunal in Jerusalem next month, Alex Langer will resign from his job, be docked one month's salary and receive a reprimand.

Langer, who was suspended several months ago, will officially resign at the end of this month, just shy of a year after entering the director general's office and 39 years after starting work at the ministry.

On Monday, the commission submitted its charges against Langer, 64, to the tribunal. It accused him of sexually harassing one of his subordinates at the ministry on two separate occasions in 2010, and also of having sexual relations with her. It also accused him of harassing a second subordinate.

In addition, it said, Langer had consensual sexual relations with a third subordinate between 2004 and 2009. During that period, she twice applied for a position in the ministry's Land Administration, and Langer, then the administration's deputy director general, sent warm letters of recommendation on her behalf to the human resources director. The commission said the sexual relationship was legitimate, but since none of the relevant ministry officials knew of it, his recommendation entailed a conflict of interest.

Langer's attorney, Rachel Toren, said the charges show that "the mountain turned into a molehill: From seven complainants, we arrived at what's in the indictment, the bulk of which is conflicts of interest - and most of those only theoretical."

Langer, she added, "devoted most of his life to the Transportation Ministry, and his professional achievements can't be doubted."

The commission also accused Langer of obstructing a police investigation by meeting with this employee shortly before police questioned her earlier this year and telling her to say their relationship had ended in 2004. If that were the case, the statute of limitations would apply and the Civil Service Commission would not be able to discipline Langer for anything concerning that relationship.

Finally, Langer was accused of having "a close personal relationship" that went beyond normal working relations with a fourth subordinate. In this case, too, he hid his relationship with her when urging the ministry's tender committee - of which he was then a member - to give her a job for which she applied. He also recommended that the ministry give her permission to study law and to engage in private work in addition to her ministry job.