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US Attorney investigates sexual-harassment case against Arab-American civil rights head

The head of a Michigan Arab-American civil rights group who faces a multitude of sexual-harassment charges is now being investigated by the U.S. Attorneys Office.

"We view the allegations ... as being very serious," said Barbara McQuade, the U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Michigan, The Associated Press reported.

Imad Hamad, the director of state's office of the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, is at the center of the sexual harassment allegations. Mr. Hamad is accused by several women who worked at the ADC of sexual harassment that spanned a 15-year period. One alleged victim, Rana Abbas, 33, who worked as deputy director under Mr. Hamad until 2008, accused him of harassing her and other on an almost daily basis. She described the harassment as groping, stroking hair, trying to plant kisses, making suggestive comments, and other forms of sexual and aggressive touching, AP reported.

The accusations have split the group. One board member has resigned, while another came forward in Mr. Hamad's support, AP said. The federal oversight is a new level of pressure, however, even while the U.S. attorney's office is withholding judgment so far.

"The investigation is in the hands of the ADC and we will reserve any comment on the matter until the investigation is complete," Ms. McQuade said in the AP report.

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