Southwest Ohio village mayor denies any wrongdoing

HARVEYSBURG, Ohio (AP) — A southwest Ohio village mayor charged with sexual imposition says any touching he did of a village employee was accidental.

The Hamilton-Middletown Journal-News ( ) reports that 75-year-old Harveysburg Mayor Richard Verga says if physical contact occurred, it was "a pure accident."

He was charged this week after a female employee said he touched her buttocks before a council meeting last month. Verga pleaded not guilty to the misdemeanor count.

Verga has refused council's request that he take a leave of absence pending resolution of the case. He is due back in Warren County court on June 11.

Harveysburg is a village of some 550 people, about 30 miles southeast of Dayton. Its busiest time is when it hosts the Ohio Renaissance Festival, which opens Aug. 30 this year.

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