The former director of education and community engagement at the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall filed a sexual-harassment complaint with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) last month, according to paperwork the federal commission sent to the city.
In a written notification dated Oct. 24, the commission notified the city’s Human Resources Department of the complaint filed by Robert S. Warren, who joined the city-owned and -operated hall as a contract employee in 2010, and served as the full-time education director from 2011 until his resignation in October.
According to the paperwork, Warren contends he was forced to quit due to sexual harassment over a period of 10 months at Van Wezel.
The notification was sent days after the start of the Van Wezel’s 2012-2013 season — one that comes on the heels of last year’s 170-show season that capped the hall’s recent transition from a city entity that required an annual subsidy to one that is now in the black.
The EEOC is investigating Warren’s complaint, and, as of this week, additional information, or action, had not yet been requested from the city.
The complaint was filed after the former employee resigned from the performing-arts hall, said Kurt Hoverter, director of human resources with the city.
The notice shows that the alleged incidents happened from Jan. 2 to Oct. 2. The federal commission did not disclose any details about the charges.
Warren could not be reached for comment.
Mary Bensel, executive director of the Van Wezel, said she was aware that the city received a notification of charges and that she did not know any other additional information about the complaint.
“I know nothing else, and I am just getting ready for the opening of the season,” Bensel said.
The city of Sarasota’s public information officer, Jan Thornburg, issued this comment as part of a statement Thursday, Nov. 1: “The city of Sarasota strives to ensure that every employee is working in an appropriate professional environment. Any employee allegation is taken seriously. Although the city has been instructed by the EEOC that no action is required at this time, the city is voluntarily moving forward with a thorough review of the complaint.”
Currently 0 Responses
16 Key West Sunset Pool Party
16 Tenebrae Service
7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
17 American Business Women's Association Sunset Chapter monthly meeting
6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
18 Goodwill Hosts Electric Vehicle Revolution Luncheon
11:30 am - 1:00 pm
Piero Rivolta and his wife, Rachele, opened their home to the Pines of Sarasota March 26.
Team Tony seeks volunteers
Team Tony Cancer Foundation of Sarasota/Manatee counties is looking for cancer survivors to volunteer at Florida Cancer Specialists oncology units.
Drum kits coming to downtown
Noting the success of Sarasota Keys, an interactive art project that placed six public pianos around downtown, the Arts and Cultural Alliance of Sarasota County has launched a parallel initiative — with drum sets.