Saturday, July 28, 2012
Lynda Bell is in the Center of Steamy Accusations. By Geniusofdespair
Weren't the texts and emails themselves a form of sexual harassment as she was his subordinate? What took her so long to realize that? Loyalty? Curiously, the two are still friends. Faddis was suing the City for violating her privacy by releasing the text messages and emails but there was recently a report of a ruling for the city in favor of summary judgment that ended Faddis’ case without the jury trial. I don't quite understand the legal stuff. I always thought the texts and emails were public records and thought she was suing for the wrong reason and the wrong entity. To me the emails and texts appeared to clearly support a sexual harassment claim.
To try to save her suit (saying that the texts were private) she had to throw Shehadeh under the bus because she has to say she is a victim of sexual harassment in order to get the privacy status to kick in for her suit:
"Faddis’ attorneys have also argued that she was a victim of sexual harassment by Shehadeh, and that therefore the texts were not public record. Attorney Kelsay Patterson points to an exemption in Florida’s public-records law stating that when an alleged victim “chooses not to file a complaint and requests that records of the complaint remain confidential, all records relating to an allegation of employment discrimination are confidential and exempt.”
Lynda Bell is a good friend of Mike Shehadeh, lunching with him often (photo from around June 4th) and I was told Lynda might even be promoting him as a consultant.
Johanna Faddis works directly for Lynda Bell as Senior Legislative Analyst. What is Bell going to do - torn between her two buds? And, Lynda when are you going to get around to asking Eddie about his "statements" about Faddis? Looks like Peyton Place has moved from Homestead to County Hall.
HERE IS NEWS REPORT WRITTEN 7/31 AFTER THIS BLOG WAS PUBLISHED (to further complicate things):
A lawsuit involving Homestead’s former Deputy City Manager Johanna Faddis will move forward.
By Christina Veiga
A judge on Wednesday denied an attempt by Homestead’s lawyers to throw out a lawsuit brought by former Deputy City Manager Johanna Faddis.
A day after mediation failed to bring consensus, Judge Lester Langer of Miami-Dade Circuit Court said the case should move forward, in part to give lawyers more time to gather evidence for a possible trial.
Faddis sued Homestead in September 2011, claiming that city officials acted negligently, invaded her privacy, intentionally inflicted emotional distress and defamed her by releasing romantic text messages sent to her by her then-boss, City Manager Mike Shehadeh, on city-issued cellphones.
Faddis and Shehadeh have both denied ever being in a romantic relationship.
Since the suit was filed, Faddis’ attorneys have also argued that she was a victim of sexual harassment by Shehadeh, and that therefore the texts were not public record. Attorney Kelsay Patterson points to an exemption in Florida’s public-records law stating that when an alleged victim “chooses not to file a complaint and requests that records of the complaint remain confidential, all records relating to an allegation of employment discrimination are confidential and exempt.”
Patterson claims that his client told the city she would not file a sexual-harassment complaint and keep it a secret in exchange for a severance agreement when she was fired from Homestead in December 2009.
The city asked for the case to be dismissed, arguing that the text messages were public record because they had to do with city business.
The text messages were released after an investigator, hired by the city to look into suspected wrongdoing by Shehadeh, dug up them up as part of his work for the city.
“The disclosure of the investigation and the report were matters of public concern,” attorney Joseph Serota told the judge.
Serota pointed to messages that were both romantic but also dealt with city business, including one in which Shehadeh tells Faddis to take the rest of the day off because he can sense that she is in a “pissy” mood.
“This is not completely personal,” Serota said.
Referring to Shehadeh’s role as Faddis’ superior, Serota later added: “He supervises her. He gives her raises. He evaluates her. How could this kind of relationship not be public business?”
Serota also argued that the case shouldn’t move forward because Faddis has changed her testimony regarding whether she was a victim of sexual harassment. Serota argued that her conflicting testimony should be stricken.
The conflicting statements stem from testimony Faddis gave in a lawsuit that Shehadeh brought against the city for wrongful termination after he was fired. In that case, Faddis said she “didn’t take any offense” to Shehadeh’s texts, according to a transcript Serota read aloud during Wednesday’s hearing.
“There has never been a time when he has harassed me, sexually harassed me,” Faddis said, according to the testimony read by Serota.
But when Faddis gave testimony for her own case, she said she was indeed a victim of sexual harassment.
“I provided a watered-down version of the truth,” she said, according to the transcript read by Serota.
Faddis’ attorney said that she “refused to be used as a pawn” in Shehadeh’s lawsuit because the city had burned her by releasing the damaging text messages, and also that she didn’t want to be used to help the city in their defense against Shehadeh’s case.