By Pat Loeb

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Philadelphia Sheriff Jewell Williams is resisting calls that he step aside in the wake of sexual harassment complaints from three women who work, or have worked, for him.

Williams has issued a statement denying the accusations, in his words, “in the strongest possible fashion.”

“The Sheriff’s Office,” he states, “has been heralded for creating a workplace where everyone is respected and treated equitably.” But among the complaints is a suit filed in 2011, when he was a state legislator, which the state Democratic Party paid $30,000 to settle.

“To me, that’s enough to ask to step down while these allegations are sorted out,” said Jovinda Hill of the Mayor’s Commission on Women.

Hill has joined the mayor in calling for Williams to step down. She’s also concerned about the confidentiality of harassment settlements.

“It protects the harasser and it does not protect women, in the future, who may have to work with the same serial harasser,” said Hill.

Hill also says harassment training should be part of every workplace.

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