Boston Mayor Marty Walsh said Friday that the move to fire city health services chief Felix G. Arroyo was "a hard decision, a disappointing decision," but one that needed to be made.
"It's a personnel matter," he said. "We took action because we felt it was an important thing to do."
Arroyo was fired by the city on Thursday. He had been on paid administrative leave since July pending the results of an internal investigation.
A woman who worked for him accused him of spanking her, making inappropriate comments that were sexual in nature and grabbing her by the back of her neck after he learned she was going ahead with filing a formal complaint.
Arroyo has said the allegations are baseless.
Walsh said the city took "appropriate action," based on the results of its internal investigation.
"I take the safety of our employees very seriously, and some of the allegations that were there were concerning to me and concerning to a lot of other folks and concerning to outside counsel," he said. "Enough so that this determination was made."
The complaint against Arroyo was filed last week with the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination. The female employee said she was moved to a different department after she met with human services.
Arroyo's chief of staff and Walsh are also reportedly named in the complaint.
Boston Police said this week that they are also looking into the allegations against Arroyo and are trying to contact the woman to see if she wants to file a criminal complaint.
Walsh said the role of health services chief is an important one, and intends to move quickly to find a replacement for Arroyo.