He’s Over-Friendly.

So tonight the worst-kept secret in Louisiana leaked out a little.

Allegations of sexual harassment against Baton Rouge Mayor-President Kip Holden have surfaced in a Kansas City lawsuit by a woman who claims he repeatedly made unwanted advances toward her and groped her at dinner while she was in town on business in 2010.

The woman, Cynthia Sloan, filed the lawsuit against her then employer, the engineering firm Tetra Tech, Inc., and her boss, saying she was encouraged to “endure sexual harassment from customers to obtain their business” and curry favor for the company. The “Mayor of Baton Rouge” was singled out as one of the people who sexually harassed her.

I’m told by folks I know who are real hifalutin’ that if you hang out in certain hoity-toity waterin’ holes in Baton Rouge on a Friday night you’ll see Hizzoner roll in as regular as the tide, and it’s the real life actin’ out of that hilarious scene from Blazing Saddles.

Not that he’s so picky. This is a mayor who takes, y’know, a real personal interest in his constituents and all.

A master retail politician.

Folks have been talkin’ about it on the down-low forever. It never really made it into any of his mayoral campaigns, prolly because the last time somebody tried to spread some dirt about him and his, er, amorous nature they made such a hash of it that nobody in the local media was even interested in some good smut.

But now it’s in a lawsuit.

Sloan, deputy director of Governmental and Public Affairs for Tetra Tech from December 2007 until November 2010, filed a complaint with the Missouri Commission on Human Rights alleging sexual harassment. The complaint was included as an exhibit in the lawsuit.

In her complaint, Sloan writes that she met the mayor of Baton Rouge at a legislative meeting in Washington D.C. in March 2010, where he made advances at her in front of her boss.

She said they attended another conference together in June where he sent her a note on a napkin, as well as a bracelet and a book. He then invited her and other company members to Baton Rouge for business purposes, she said.

Sloan said she and members of her company went to Baton Rouge in July 2010, taking the mayor out to dinner.

“The Mayor insisted that I ride with him. Once at dinner, he became very hands (sic) with me — all in front of Teresa and others, including two vice-presidents of Tetra Tech. The Mayor touched my leg and between my legs several times. I repeatedly pushed his hand away.”

She said meetings continued over the next few days, and she had another dinner with the mayor, during which he wrote her a note asking him to come back to his room, which she declined.

The complaint also says that on Aug. 12, 2010, she was sent to Baton Rouge by her company for the mayor’s birthday party. Holden’s birthday is Aug. 12. Sloan said she agreed to have lunch with the mayor the next day, when he came to her hotel early and visited her room.

“While he was in my room he stated that he was doing so much for me, he just wanted to see and feel my breasts. I told him no,” she wrote. “We went to lunch. He wrote another note on a napkin.”

Sloan wrote that she told her boss in October 2010 that Holden had contacted her about staying in a room together in New Orleans for a party, which she declined.

“I stated that I know there is an expectation that I keep the Mayor happy, and that here have been numerous comments about me ‘taking one for the team,’” she said in her complaint to the Missouri Commission on Human Rights. She said she “endured many sexual advances from that customer, including groping, texting, notes, etc.”

Hey, what’s the problem? He’s just friendly, that’s all. He just wants to get to know the folks he’s gonna do business with.

That’s professional, right?

Y’know what’s a laff riot about all this? That guy Delgado on the Metro Council over there who says Kip’s his mentor (he says he’s a Republican but he’s got Mayor Handsy, Democrat, as his mentor) was in the Advocate earlier this week sayin’ the Mirabito dude who runs the bus system hadda “apologize and be fired” for some stoopid comments about ol’ white ladies on the bus with black bus drivers.

So tonight he’s on the clock. This wasn’t nice…

There’s a question whether anything much comes outta this. It’s not like Kip’s voters particularly care; they pretty much knew about all this stuff when they voted for him three times. And while there are prolly more non-Kip voters than there were, what does he care? He’s run and won as often as he’s legally allowed to for this job.

It prolly keeps him from bein’ able to win this fall when he goes for Lt. Governor, but I’ll let you in on a lil’ secret. Are you ready?

He ain’t winnin’ that election anyway. He’ll make the runoff, but whoever gets in with him beats him like a red-headed mule.

In the meantime, though, we can tell Kip jokes. It’s kinda cool for Louisiana to have its very own Bob Filner, no?



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