Sexual Harassment by Previous Finance Director Was ‘Badly Stored Secret,’ Lawsuit Alleges

Sexual Harassment by Previous Finance Director Was ‘Badly Stored Secret,’ Lawsuit Alleges

A sexual harassment lawsuit filed from former metropolis finance director Robert Somario (earlier mentioned) alleges City Administrator Paul Casey (underneath) experienced total information of Samario’s actions and allowed him to retire as an alternative of dealing with termination. | Credit rating: Courtesy

When previous finance director Robert Samario instantly and quietly retired past March immediately after an undisclosed four-month investigation ― strolling away with his total $120,000 once-a-year pension and a fond farewell from the city administrator ― it raised a great deal of issues and a lot of eyebrows. 

A sexual harassment lawsuit filed this 7 days may perhaps get started to make clear the reasoning driving his abrupt departure and how, in accordance to the criticism, it in shape within just a extensive-managing pattern of illegal habits. In actuality, the lawsuit alleges, Samario’s intense overtures and “womanizing” amid his employees was a “badly retained secret” at the leading ranges of Santa Barbara federal government for extra than 13 decades.

The lawsuit was submitted by Jennifer Tomaszewski, Samario’s deputy finance director, and incorporates a litany of thorough allegations. Tomaszewski and her lawyer, Christina Humphrey, emphasize she was not the only victim, just the hottest. “Numerous woman employees were interviewed and gave the exact accounts about Samario,” the criticism states. 

“Some of the regarded carry out bundled that Samario’s recent spouse held a staff amount posture at the Metropolis and that Samario engaged in an extramarital affair with her whilst he was married to his past wife,” it declares. “It was a big scandal.” 

Tomaszewski also precisely implicated Metropolis Administrator Paul Casey for allegedly owning complete expertise of Samario’s actions and enabling him to retire ― reportedly devoid of the Town Council’s acceptance ― as an alternative of experiencing termination, which would have considerably decreased his pension. 

Paul Casey | Credit rating: Paul Wellman (file)

Casey is accused of passing around Tomaszewski for the director position because of her involvement in the investigation and as a substitute deciding upon an exterior employ to lead the division with 47 workforce and a $6 million spending plan. The lawsuit promises the investigation expense the town above $100,000 and created a 150-website page internal report that chronicled Samario’s recurring circumstances of harassment of multiple female workforce. At the time of his retirement, Samario was earning $265,000 in salary and gains.

Casey directed queries for this story to City Lawyer Ariel Calonne, who declined to comment.

A sample of Tomaszewski’s 29 individual allegations in opposition to Samario follows:

• Virtually instantly on Tomaszewski’s marketing to deputy finance director in August 2018, Samario reportedly started “flirting and inappropriately commenting on [her] appearance, clothes, and health, and telling her she was desirable.”

• “Samario relentlessly asked [Tomaszewski] to present him her tattoo,” named her “kiddo” and “sweetie,” and requested her to espresso nearly every single working day, the lawsuit states. If Tomaszewski declined espresso, Samario would ask her if she was mad at him and tell her that she experienced damage his thoughts.

• “Samario fulfilled one of [Tomaszewski]’s daughters and spoke quite a few times about her overall body and how attractive she was,” the go well with states.

• According to the criticism, Samario would routinely request Tomaszewski for hugs by inviting her to “Bob’s Hug Club.”

• Samario often identified as Tomaszewski his “work-wife,” she alleged, and explained to her to watch a Netflix present about Invoice and Melinda Gates, describing the Gateses’ partnership reminded him of theirs. In the finance department, he was the father, Tomaszewski was the mother, and the staff were being their small children, Samario would reportedly say.

• “When Samario and his wife ended up getting ready to have a youngster, he talked to [Tomaszewski] about the sexual positions that aid make sure a feminine child,” the lawsuit states.

• During conferences, Samario would text Tomaszewski late at evening and invite her for “one-on-one” time, the grievance states. In advance of one certain conference, which was eventually canceled simply because of COVID, Tomaszewski viewed as inquiring her husband to accompany her so she would not have to be alone with Samario.

These incidents and other folks were being viewed by Casey and other metropolis officers as simply just “Bob remaining Bob,” the criticism concludes. “The sexual harassment by Samario subjectively offended plaintiff on an nearly each day foundation, and was adequately pervasive and significant as to change the circumstances of her employment and produce a hostile, overwhelming and/or abusive operate environment.”

The scenario will be read in Santa Barbara Superior Courtroom. A listening to day has not still been set.

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