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Seattle Mariners acknowledge harassment allegations against exec

SEATTLE — The Seattle Mariners say they have “made amends” with former female employees who made allegations of harassment against current team president and CEO Kevin Mather.

The club issued statements from majority owner John Stanton and Mather on Wednesday. Stanton said two female employees complained more than 10 years ago of inappropriate language and treatment by executives. Stanton said an outside expert conducted an investigation and “we imposed appropriate discipline, management and sensitivity training, and other corrective actions.”

The statements were in response to a story published by The Seattle Times detailing some of the allegations against Mather and two other former executives.

The newspaper reported the club had made settlement payments of about $500,000 to two former female executive assistants, including one who worked for Mather and another who worked for then-Executive Vice President Bob Aylward. The newspaper also reported that there was another settlement with a third woman, who said she felt pressured to kiss then-team President Chuck Armstrong.

Aylward and Armstrong declined to comment. Both had already retired from their formal roles.

The Mariners didn’t deny but also didn’t specifically address the settlements in question. Instead, the organization’s lawyer, Fred Rivera, issued a written statement noting broadly that the team on rare occasions has “made financial compensation to employees and exacted financial compensation from employees to remedy” violations.

Mather said it was a humbling experience for him to “confront some unpleasant realities” about himself. He took responsibility for his actions and apologized for his behavior that he described as intimidating, mean and inappropriate in the workplace.

“I was grateful for the opportunity to change my behavior and the management training I received,” Mather said in the club’s statement.

The Mariners also praised Mather, saying that they took the issue into consideration when deciding to promote him to president in 2014 and to chief executive in 2017.

The statement said: “Kevin learned from the experience and has since been an outstanding manager and executive. … We would not have promoted Kevin if we had any doubt about his ability to lead and to meet our high standards.”

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