TRENTON, N.J. – The former aide who claims he was sexually harassed by Gov. James E. McGreevey (search) said he will not file a lawsuit if the governor simply apologizes, the man's attorney said Thursday.
Golan Cipel (search), McGreevey's former homeland security adviser, is still considering legal action against the governor but would settle for the apology, attorney Allen Lowy said.
"If the governor were to stand up and very clearly own up and apologize for what he did to Golan this whole thing would go away very quickly," Lowy said. "It's not about money. It's never been about money."
McGreevey announced his resignation two weeks ago and said he was stepping down because he had an extramarital affair with a man. Two McGreevey administration sources said the man was Cipel.
The former adviser responded by saying he is not gay and denying any consensual relationship with McGreevey. Cipel claims he was sexually harassed by the governor from the time he went to work for him in 2001.
McGreevey spokesman Micah Rasmussen said the governor would not apologize because no sexual harassment took place.
When McGreevey's attorneys were notified by Lowy in July that Cipel intended to file a sexual harassment lawsuit (search), it started a chain of events that resulted in the governor saying he would leave office Nov. 15.
The U.S. Attorney's Office is investigating allegations by McGreevey's lawyer that Cipel tried to extort money from the governor.