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A former aide who claims New Jersey Gov. James E. McGreevey sexually harassed him said Monday he will not sue the governor. The governor’s resignation announcement was sufficient admission of his wrongdoing, Golan Cipel said in a statement written in Hebrew and released Monday by an Israeli public relations agency. Cipel is in seclusion with his family in Israel. McGreevey announced Aug. 12 that he is gay and would resign from office because he had an extramarital affair with a man. Administration sources identified the other man in the relationship as Cipel. McGreevey has said the relationship with Cipel was consensual. But Cipel, McGreevey’s former homeland security adviser, denied he is gay and insisted he had been sexually harassed and pressured by the governor from the time he first went to work for him. “Despite my strong desire to prove my case in a court of law, I have decided not to proceed with my suit,” Cipel said in the statement. “The main reason is the governor’s resignation and his admission of his acts. It’s clear to all that McGreevey resigned because he sexually harassed me and that a man of his standing would not have resigned because of sexual orientation or having had an extramarital affair.” Cipel said that although he had “no doubt” he would have won a civil case against the governor, he has already accomplished his goals: “the revelation of the truth, finding justice, and having the governor take responsibility for his acts.” Cipel added that “the financial element was not important,” and said New Jersey taxpayers would have been left with the bill for any damages. A spokesman for the governor said the announcement was not a surprise. “The governor made clear that he did not want to put the people of New Jersey at risk, he did not want to expose the state to the threat of a lawsuit,” said spokesman Micah Rasmussen. Rasmussen dismissed as “nonsense” Cipel’s claim that he would have won if a lawsuit had gone to court. Cipel’s lawyer Allen Lowy said he had notified attorneys for the governor in July that he intended to file a sexual harassment lawsuit against McGreevey on behalf of Cipel. A series of negotiations between Lowy and McGreevey’s attorneys took place over the following several weeks, but no settlement could be reached and the governor eventually made his resignation announcement. “There was never any extortion. It was merely negotiations between attorneys,” said another Cipel attorney, Rachel Yosevitz, addressing a claim by McGreevey administration officials. Lowy said Cipel has agreed to talk to the FBI, which has been investigating the extortion claim, but has not yet talked with the agency. Legal experts said Lowy had until Monday to file a sexual harassment lawsuit because the statute of limitations for such complaints is two years and Cipel left the state payroll at the end of August 2002. Yosevitz said the alleged sexual harassment took an emotional and physical toll on Cipel; he suffered intestinal pain, migraine headaches, heart palpitations and sleeplessness, she said. Copyright 2004 Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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