Goldman’s Top Lawyers Accused of Covering Up Sexual Harassment

Goldman Sachs Group Inc.’s general counsel and a top deputy were sued by a subordinate who said she was forced out after she complained about the sexual harassment of another female lawyer in the group.

Marla Crawford, a former vice president and associate general counsel in Goldman’s litigation and regulatory proceedings group, filed the suit Monday in New York state court, alleging that she was forced out of the firm for complaining about global head of litigation Darrell Cafasso using his position “to romantically prey” upon an unidentified female colleague.

The suit alleges General Counsel Karen Seymour acted to cover up for Cafasso. According to Crawford, Seymour hired an outside law firm to conduct a “bogus” investigation and told another senior Goldman lawyer she was trying to “put this genie back in the bottle.”

A Goldman spokesperson said the bank conducted a review of the allegations in this complaint and found that they were completely without merit. “Goldman Sachs has a robust process for taking disciplinary action when warranted, and the firm took proper and appropriate disciplinary action with respect to the personnel matters that Ms. Crawford references,” the spokesperson said.

Crawford, who says she was a confidant of the victim, says she tried to provide relevant information about Cafasso’s conduct but was told to keep quiet. She claims her job ratings were lowered, her bonus was cut and she was terminated after she refused to move to Dallas after more than 10 years with the bank, according to the suit.

“Never in my wildest imagination would I ever think I would be in this position,” Crawford said Monday in an interview.

The spokesperson said Crawford’s division was moved to a different city as part of a restructuring and she declined to move.

The suit comes just as the bank’s image has been tarnished by accusations and punishments against the bank after a years-long probe into the plundering of Malaysia’s 1MDB investment fund. The scandal has cost the bank more than $5 billion and have forced a subsidiary pleaded guilty to a U.S. criminal charge for the first time in the firm’s history.

— With assistance by Sridhar Natarajan

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