- Associated Press - Friday, August 7, 2015

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) - The California Assembly has agreed to pay $110,000 to a former legislative staffer who alleged sexual harassment by a former state lawmaker and unpaid wages, according to a settlement it released Friday.

The original lawsuit was filed against the state Assembly and former Assemblyman Steve Fox, D-Palmdale, by Kristina Zahn in February 2014. Zahn alleged she was forced to work without pay as Fox blended his private business as an attorney and his duties as a public official.

She says she was forced to volunteer for his 2012 campaign as his paralegal and the unpaid work continued after his election in 2012, when she was hired to work in his district office but was expected to continue working as his paralegal for free.

Zahn also claims Fox made inappropriate sexual comments, including late night phone calls describing his desired sexual trysts with women in Sacramento and regularly asking her about her sex life. She says she was wrongfully fired in 2013.

Zahn’s lawsuit also says her legislative supervisors ignored her complaints. The state Assembly doesn’t admit any of Zahn’s allegations as part of the July 8 settlement agreement, first reported Friday by the Sacramento Bee.



Fox’s law office also agreed to separately pay Zahn $15,000 on top of the $110,000 payment by the state. Fox, who lost his re-election bid last year, declined to comment when reached by The Associated Press.

Another lawsuit filed against Fox by a former employee is still pending. His former legislative director, Nancy Finnigan, alleges she had to perform menial tasks for his law practice and he once opened the door of his apartment to greet her without wearing pants.

Zahn’s lawsuit says she warned Fox that a sexual harassment lawsuit against him was inevitable.

She alleges the former lawmaker responded, “No one outfoxes the Fox.”

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