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TAMPA — A seven-month investigation of Town Council Chairperson Orlando Gudes’ remedy of a former aide was unveiled Monday, prompting Mayor Jane Castor to situation a assertion stating that if she had the electricity to fireplace him, she would.
The 60-website page file integrated an investigation executed by the Trenam law company, which located the account of Gudes’ previous legislative aide — whose title was redacted from the report — to be credible.
Trenam lawyers interviewed 20 folks who corroborated an exhaustive account of Gudes’ treatment of his aide dating again to the summer of 2019, which include derogatory reviews about her seems to be and her teenage daughter’s breast dimensions, homophobic feedback about Castor and references to an additional unnamed City Council member as a “p***y mom f**ker.”
Trenam concluded that 18 of 19 allegations appeared much more possible than not to have occurred.
Gudes declined remark Monday, expressing he required to examine the make a difference with his legal professional, Ryan Barack, in advance of creating any statements. Barack also declined comment, indicating he experienced not noticed all of the files in query.
However, a assertion by Gudes that was element of his official reaction to the allegations was contained in the file.
In that statement, Gudes denied quite a few of the allegations, but also acknowledged his perform was inappropriate.
“While I disagree with the entirety of the findings in the report, about my previous legislative aide, I do acknowledge accountability for comments that I manufactured that, while not sexual harassment, had been not appropriate for the place of work,” Gudes wrote.
Castor, who is touring in Israel this week, produced the pursuing assertion:
“Since Orlando Gudes is an elected official, I have no authority more than him. Having said that, if he were being a town worker he would be fired in excess of these credible and corroborated sexual harassment revelations. I know from numerous many years in legislation enforcement that it requires a terrific offer of courage for a target to make harassment and hostile operate setting allegations towards any supervisor, permit by itself just one as powerful as a metropolis council chairman.”
Gudes, 54, is a retired police officer who served with Castor in the Tampa Law enforcement Office. He signifies East Tampa, Ybor City, downtown and components of West Tampa.
The report, which originated in a metropolis human methods grievance filed by the aide in August, specifics several cases in which Gudes built crude reviews to the aide. They incorporated inquiring her if she was going through menopause and referring to her as “Celie,” an abused character in the Alice Walker novel The Shade Purple.
The report also lists other incidents, together with just one in which Gudes referred to Castor, who is homosexual, with a derogatory term, and an additional in which he speculated on her sexual routines.
Gudes reported he did not recall creating a derogatory assertion about Castor and denied earning any statements about the mayor’s sex life.
Other allegations include things like Gudes telling the aide’s teenage daughter to sit up straight for the reason that “you have actually major boobs and if you hold standing like that, your boobs will be down to listed here.”
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Gudes denied making those people feedback, but the aide and her daughter contradicted him.
Gudes has been an occasional critic of Castor due to the fact remaining elected to Town Council in 2019.
Before this month, a different sometime critic, John Dingfelder, resigned from his council seat as a portion of a legal settlement involving a lawsuit filed by a area business advisor alleging that Dingfelder violated Florida’s Sunshine Legislation. The settlement barred Dingfelder from talking about the issue.
A city information launch reiterated that the town has no authority to self-discipline or just take motion from an elected official, but the aide could file a discrimination report with the Equal Work Option Commission or the Florida Commission on Human Relations, which the metropolis would react to or settle.
The aide could also file a grievance with the Florida Fee on Ethics, in accordance to the launch.
The Tampa Bay Periods contacted the aide in February, who declined remark. The Times is withholding her name. Below Florida regulation, any data that individually identifies the alleged target in an allegation of sexual harassment is confidential and exempt from disclosure below the Florida Public Information Act.
The previous aide proceeds to get the job done for the city of Tampa.
Gudes, in his statement, stated he has apologized to the aide and has hired an government mentor at his possess price to strengthen his management techniques and workplace sensitivity. He also wrote that he and the aide “were outdated friends” and it was his mistake to not set up new workplace boundaries.