Mayor asked to explain Christmas party shenanigans

What happens at the office Christmas party, doesn’t necessarily stay there – when you’re mayor

If youÂ’ve ever woken up the day after the annual office Christmas party with feelings of embarrassment, regret, and anxiety about your job, then you just might have an inkling of how CopenhagenÂ’s mayor, Frank Jensen, feels.

At the annual Christmas party (julefrokost) for the cityÂ’s financial administration on December 16, Jensen (Socialdemokraterne) allegedly stayed late, drank too much and licked the ear of one female employee, the neck of another, and grabbed and squeezed two others, reported the tabloid Ekstra Bladet.

Behind closed doors the mayor received a sharp reprimand from city manager Claus Juhl for the unacceptable behavior – and one week later, on January 3, Jensen stood up and made a general apology to all of the employees gathered at the financial administration’s New Year’s reception (nytårskur), according to the tabloid BT.

But the mayorÂ’s hangover is not over quite yet. A political rival, Pia Allerslev (Venstre), has called for a public explanation of the employees’ complaints and what the cityÂ’s management has done about them.

“It’s not about Frank Jensen,” Allerslev told Politiken newspaper. “It’s about ensuring that employees can feel safe attending social events at city hall and about making sure that it remains Denmark’s best workplace.”

Unfortunately for Jensen, political allies from Enhedslisten (EL) and Radikale now also support the Venstre politicianÂ’s demand.

“We’re backing up the call for an explanation from the city manager about how this case, which we have all read about in the papers, is being handled on behalf of the employees,” Mikkel Warming (EL), the deputy mayor for social affairs, told Politiken.

Socialistisk Folkeparti city councillor Ninna Thomsen underscored that “sexual harassment is never okay”, but added that she thought the city manager and administration had handled the episode appropriately.

Following a Socialdemokraterne Christmas party in 2004, Jensen – then the party’s political spokesperson – was obliged to apologise to an intern for alleged overtures.

“I don’t remember exactly what happened,” Jensen said at the time. “But apparently I said something that offended her. I suppose I was running my mouth and paid her some compliments, which she took the wrong way.”

The mayor was not available to comment on the current case.