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Virg Bernero suit settled

Published: Oct. 13, 2021 at 4:48 PM EDT
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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - A lawsuit alleging sexual harassment and sexual assault by former Lansing mayor Virg Bernero has been settled.

The lawsuit was brought by a former staffer, Elizabeth Hart, who served during Bernero’s time as Mayor of Lansing in 2013 and 2014. In it, she alleged her work environment with Bernero was infused with unwelcome sexual commentary and innuendo. She said she would receive late-night calls, that Bernero discussed a foot fetish with the Plaintiff and touched her feet in a sexual manner, that Bernero asked Hart to show him her breasts, and more.

According to an attorney for Hart, Manda Danieleski, that suit has now been settled. The amount was disclosed as $4,500. As a result of that agreement no further action may be taken in the matter.

In the settlement, Bernero wrote a note to Hart.

“I am deeply sorry for the pain I have caused you,” Bernero wrote. “This was never my intent. I should have known better and I do now. I wish you nothing but the best in the future.”

Hart said of the settlement, “A form of justice was achieved through this lawsuit. I wanted acknowledgement that what he did was wrong and the lawsuit achieved a version of that. But Virg was not held accountable for his actions. The settlement, in my opinion, is an acknowledgement to what he believes happened, not to what happened.”

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