Official, 73, Steps Down Over Sex Scandal

The 73-year-old former mayor of Ulyanovsk stepped down Friday as chairman of the local Public Chamber after a 29-year-old United Russia activist accused him of sexual harassment.

Yevgenia Milanskaya wrote on her LiveJournal blog that Sergei Yermakov hugged her, touched her breasts and tried to kiss her in his office.

She said Yermakov, who served as mayor from 2004 to 2010, made the advances when she attempted to discuss her proposals for International Children’s Day celebrations on June 1.

She said Yermakov initially backed the proposals, which included a photo exhibit and a video marathon. But after she rejected his advances, she said, he criticized them at a chamber meeting Tuesday, prompting her to walk out in tears.

Yermakov told the local news web site that he only kissed Milanskaya on the cheek and called the accusations “petty female revenge” for not supporting her proposals. But he said he quit because “when an official is involved in a scandal like that, it’s tactless to stay in the job regardless of whether he’s right or wrong,” RIA-Novosti reported.

Milanskaya said she has asked prosecutors to charge Yermakov with sexual harassment, punishable with up to a year in prison. Prosecutors are reviewing the case, Interfax reported.

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