Hathcock, who continues as City Council liaison for Council President Kathy Graziano, was charged earlier this year with assault and sexual battery in connection with an allegation that he had groped fellow council liaison Jennifer Walle.
After appearing briefly in court this morning, Hathcock, in a dark suit and tie, accompanied by his wife, left the Manchester court building without making any comment. His attorney, Craig Cooley, commented briefly about the agreement. “I would hope then [in September] this matter would be dismissed,” Cooley said. “That ultimately will be for the judge and the commonwealth to decide.”
Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Michael Hollomon confirms that the commonwealth’s attorney’s office is working on an agreement.
Outside the courthouse, Walle and her attorney, D. Hayden Fisher, addressed reporters and confirmed that Walle agreed to the terms and conditions of the agreement.
The decision to nol-pros (short for the Latin "nolle prosequi") the case means that after Hathcock has completed the terms of the agreement, the commonwealth’s attorney’s office will not prosecute the case. But, Fisher said, “It will not be expunged from his record. It will technically still be an open claim that could be brought back.” That likely only would happen if Hathcock were to run into legal trouble in the future.
Fisher and Walle confirmed that her civil case against Hathcock will move forward and that a second civil case in federal court is likely, pending an EEOC ruling.
Though Walle says she was satisfied with the terms of the agreement, her decision to move forward with the civil case bears directly on the fact that Hathcock has not publically apologized and that City Council still has no official Human Resources policy in place.
“This [agreement] was done in his best interest, not as what is right,” Walle says. “I would like an apology, a real apology. That never came to pass.”
Walle’s current employment status with the city remains in dispute, with the council’s liaison office indicating that she has resigned.
But Walle today reiterated that she agreed to nothing other than a leave of absence. Her direct supervisor, City Councilman Bruce Tyler, confirmed that Walle remains on a leave of absence, so far as he is aware of the situation.
Fisher says that the resignation claimed by City Council is not valid, and that Walle has not received documentation from the city related to the continuation of health insurance, in violation of federal employment law. (You can read more about the city’s communication with Walle about her employment status in a previous post.)
Walle says that she’s not opposed to returning to city employment
“I’m always open to going back. I wouldn’t have taken the extended leave of absence if I hadn’t been interested in going back.”