Hagai Peleg, who resigned as director general of the Public Security Ministry after being accused of sexual harassment, is expected to argue that he had a personal relationship with the complainant as well as a working relationship. All her alleged complaints relate to theformer.
The Civil Service Commission is currently investigating the complaints.
"I had a close personal relationship with O. that went beyond the bounds of work," a close associate of Peleg's quoted him as saying to Haaretz yesterday. "Her complaints to the Civil Service Commission about my behavior relate to our personal relationship, not our working relationship," he told this associate.
Peleg has told his friends in recent days that he regrets having announced his resignation when O.'s accusations first became public. In retrospect, he said, he considers the resignation unjustified.
O., who worked with the ministry as an outside consultant, accused Peleg of mistreating her while they were working together on a project she led. This mistreatment included both physical and verbal violence, she said, and continued for more than a year before she finally decided to speak out.
In fact, only a few of the incidents described in her complaints actually involved sexual harassment.
In one incident that occurred while they were alone together, she said that Peleg filled his mouth with water and then spit it out at her, soaking her face and shirt. In other cases, he yelled at her in public and threatened to make sure she never worked anywhere again, she charged.
O. gave the commission a list of people both within and outside the ministry who she said could support her testimony, and the commission is now engaged in questioning them. Her supporters have said they are sure the truth will out.
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