Oosterhout mayor resigns amidst sexual harassment accusations
Stefan Huisman suddenly resigned as mayor of the Noord-Brabant municipality of Oosterhout on Friday night. In a short statement he gave two reasons for his resignation - he drank too much at the municipality's year-end function in December, and several statements were made in which he was accused of "boundary crossing behavior".
Newspaper BN De Stem spoke to "multiple" women who, independently of each other, say that they were sexually harassed by the mayor over the past years. What happened at the year-end function was by no means an isolated incident, they said to the newspaper. "It is bizarre that someone in such a public function could get away with this behavior for years", one said.
Huisman would not comment on these accusations to the newspaper. His spokesperson referred the newspaper back to his statement, which read: "At the end of December 2017 the staff party of the municipality of Oosterhout took place. On that occasion I drank too much alcohol and that while I was on duty. A few weeks later, statements were made stating that I had shown boundary-crossing behavior and that there are people who feel damaged. For all this I offer my sincere apologies. From all this I draw the ultimate consequence and have decided to file my resignation as mayor of Oosterhout."
The Oosterhout city council and college of mayor and aldermen also refused to comment. They agreed not to make details public, according to the newspaper. Commissioner of the King Wim van de Donk told the newspaper that Huisman made the decision to resign himself, and that he can understand that decision.