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NY government watchdog fired after sexual misconduct probe

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) – The head of a New York state office focusing on government transparency has been fired after a journalist said he harassed her and touched her inappropriately.

Robert Freeman was terminated Monday as the director of the Committee on Open Government. The USA TODAY Network’s Albany bureau first reported the firing after obtaining a letter from Inspector General Letizia Tagliafierro (TAG’-lee-oh-fee-OH’-ree) detailing other complaints of misconduct.

The journalist told investigators that while discussing open meetings law Freeman touched her inappropriately, kissed her on the cheek and made inappropriate comments.

Investigators also found photos of naked women on Freeman’s state computer and sexually suggestive emails to a second woman from his state account.

The letter states that the 72-year-old Freeman acknowledged the misconduct. Messages left with him Tuesday were not immediately returned.

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