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Assemblyman Accused of Sex Harassment in Lawsuit : Legislature: Mickey Conroy of Orange denies an ex-clerk’s allegations. He is best known for writing a bill to paddle graffiti vandals.

TIMES STAFF WRITER

Assemblyman Mickey Conroy, the Orange County lawmaker who captured national headlines recently with a bill to paddle juvenile graffiti vandals, has been accused in a lawsuit of sexually harassing a former employee.

Robyn Boyd, a former part-time legislative clerk in Conroy’s office, accused the Republican from Orange of subjecting her to “uninvited and unwelcome” harassment as well as an office environment replete with off-color jokes, innuendo and sexual advances, according to the lawsuit.

Conroy denied all the allegations, saying that Boyd’s complaints resulted from “unfortunate misunderstandings” and that his office “addressed those matters by taking immediate corrective action where appropriate.”

The lawsuit was filed in Amador County in March, but is being transferred this week to Sacramento County. Carolee Kilduff, Boyd’s attorney, said the complaint was filed in the neighboring county to avoid publicity while settlement negotiations were under way with the Assembly Rules Committee, which also is named as a plaintiff.

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Boyd, 35, is seeing a psychiatrist for emotional problems that she says she has suffered as a result of the harassment, Kilduff said. Although the lawsuit contends that Boyd was terminated from her job, officials in the Legislature said she was on unpaid administrative leave.

Kilduff said Boyd was told shortly after she was hired in March, 1993, that she should give Conroy back rubs as well as hugs and kisses. Conroy on several occasions draped an arm around Boyd and let his hand fall on her breast, Kilduff said.

The lawsuit also names Conroy’s chief of staff, Pete Conaty, who allegedly told Boyd that she would be blackballed when she refused to back off her sexual harassment charges. The result was an intolerable work environment, the lawsuit alleges.

Boyd is seeking unspecified monetary damages for harassment and wrongful termination.

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