May 27, 2022

Ex-Air Force officer claims female boss sexually harassed him

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A former US Air Force officer has filed suit claiming his female boss at a major Washington DC consulting firm regularly sexually harassed him during nights out with clients, according to a new report.

Kyle Reinhardt, a retired lieutenant colonel, alleges Kim Cirka encouraged “a freewheeling sexual culture” at Guidehouse, a company that has over $100 million in government contracts, The Washington Post reported Tuesday.

“I felt really horrible,” Reinhardt told the outlet.

He says Cirka eventually forced him out of his job for rebuffing her advances and speaking out about the treatment, according to the DC Superior Court lawsuit, filed in February.

The court papers allege that Cirka not only flirted with the ex-Airman, but also encouraged him to be open to any sexual advances from one potential client and once abused him after an extra boozy night, the report says.

Dept of Veterans Affairs
Kyle Reinhardt was taken off the partner track and eventually fired from Guidehouse after he secured a $110 million contract with the Department of Veterans Affairs.
Getty Images/iStockphoto

Cirka’s alleged sexually inappropriate behavior took place during Guidehouse-hosted outings at DC nightspots that would sometimes move to Reinhardt’s place for after-parties. Cirka would splurge on $200 bottles of fine wine for the festivities, according to the complaint.

“Guidehouse had a work hard, play hard culture,” the filing states. “As a government contractor, its business was based on building and developing good relationships with both the government and potential teaming partners — other government contractors who could serve as subcontractors to Guidehouse or vice versa. These relationships were greased by food and alcohol.”

When Reinhardt spoke out about the treatment, the suit claims that Cirka – a partner at Guidehouse – pressured him to “play the game,” implying his job would be at stake if he didn’t, the newspaper reported.

“It was now like a part of a number of things that I was parking in a locked box in my soul,” Reinhardt said in the interview.

“I also felt like the work that I was very passionate about doing was kind of in a very precarious place and it was an internal balance to not blow up what I had to have to be able to do that work.”’

After Reinhardt secured a $110 million contract with the Veterans Affairs Department – and Cirka apparently felt she no longer needed him – Reinhardt began to be marginalized, the suit alleges. He was taken off the partner track and eventually fired in September 2021.

“The world of government contracting can often have colorful workplaces, but what we see in the actions here are really beyond the pale,” Reinhardt’s lawyer Samuel Buffone Jr. told the outlet.

Cirka – through her lawyer Charles Molster III – denied the allegations and claimed that Reinhardt was a “disgruntled former employee who was terminated for performance issues and is now attempting to wage a smear campaign.”

“Ms. Cirka looks forward to clearing her good name when the true facts come out,” Molster told the outlet.

“The allegations in the complaint filed two months ago were made after Mr. Reinhardt’s employment was terminated for legitimate performance reasons,” Guidehouse spokesperson Kelly Langmesser said in a statement.

“An investigation of Mr. Reinhardt’s other allegations related to alleged harassment from a number of years ago remains ongoing,” the rep said.

PricewaterhouseCoopers – which was a parent company of Guidehouse – declined to comment through a spokesperson.

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