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CARMEL, Ind. — The Carmel city clerk-treasurer is accusing the city’s mayor of creating a “toxic environment” within city hall.

The accusations are being made by Christine Pauley against Mayor Jim Brainard. She said that he invited her twice to accompany him on personal trips, one of which was to Rome in 2016, reports the YouAreCurrent.

Brainard, who had been legally separated from his ex-wife and divorced soon after around that time, denied the accusations in a statement to the IBJ. He said they had “briefly dated” in early 2016.

“Mayor Brainard [used] his influence and power to create a toxic environment at City Hall with a deeper, more persistent attempt to encourage me to do things I did not want to do,” Pauley said in an emailed statement. “Shame on him if he uses the flimsy excuse that ‘we were dating’ for his deceitful behavior. This thought resides in his head and is not true.”

Pauley accused city leaders of gender discrimination in 2017 when a round of raises was proposed to city employees. She said the proposal was looking for raises of over 20-percent for all elected leaders while her position would get a raise of less than 2-percent.

Brainard is seeking another term as the Mayor of Carmel. He was recently accused of trying to bribe one of his primary opponents to drop out of the race. 

(PHOTO: Isaac Brekken / Stringer / Getty Images)