Former Lansing mayor Virg Bernero flatly denied claims that he sexually harassed two women.
Bernero said when it comes to claims of harassment that all women “should be heard and respected and have their day.” But he flatly denied the allegations against him.
““Let me be clear. I’ve never accosted or groped anyone on Washington Avenue or anywhere else against their will. This did not happen,” he told Shiels.
The article describes the accounts of two women who remain anonymous. One says Bernero touched her inappropriately – in public and in front of a witness. The other says Bernero commented on her legs and made other comments she deemed inappropriate in a phone call.
Bernero is a three term mayor who, after declining to run in the last election, says he plans to challenge incumbent Andy Schor, although he has not made a formal announcement.
In fact, Bernero blames Schor for the article and allegations.
“So this is revisionist history and character assassination, and I believe it’s being orchestrated from a political perspective,” he told Shiels. “I believe Andy and his allies are the ones orchestrating this political attack.”
Bernero also calls Schor “an empty suit” who us “a nice enough guy, but he’s ill-equipped to run the city.”
But he says the allegations wouldn’t “scare”, “embarrass”, or “push me out this race.”
“I’m not angry. I’m resolved. I’m resolved to defend my good name,” he said.
The Schor campaign released the following statement:
“Bernero is trying to dodge his record; we would never use the horrific and terrible experiences of women at the hand of Bernero for political gain. As we mentioned before, the allegations aren’t about the Mayor or his bid for reelection at all – we need to take these allegations seriously and listen to the brave women who are sharing their stories,” said Megan Crane, Schor’s Campaign Manager.