Banking professionals and their customers across Miami, Florida, were shocked by the recent revelation that the top banking regulator of Florida was suspended at the end of last week. The man, who had been the Commissioner of Florida’s Office of Financial Regulation, has been put on paid leave. He has been accused of harassment of an employee.
Because an investigation is ongoing, a spokesperson for the commissioner’s agency declined to comment. The commissioner also declined to comment when he was approached by the American Banker newspaper last weekend.
However, the press release issued by Florida’s chief financial officer (CFO) to announce the suspension included a redacted version of the complaint filed by the employee making the accusation. The complaint describes behavior that, according to the employee, created an unsafe work environment.
One incident alleged in the complaint says that the employee was going to lunch with the commissioner one day when the commissioner unexpectedly said that they should go to his condominium together. The pretext for doing so was to view renovations that were being done on the condominium. However, once they were there, the commissioner asked the employee to take their shoes off. This created an uncomfortable situation for the employee.
Later, when the employee and the commissioner got to the place they were going to have lunch, the commissioner made an inappropriate reference to his parents’ private lives. That was followed by yet another suggestion from the commissioner that they again go to his condominium together.
Additional instances of poor conduct were detailed in the complaint, with the employee saying that the poor conduct amounted to harassment and hindered the development of their career. Of course, all employees have a right to a harassment-free workplace and should learn about their legal rights if they are a victim of harassment from bosses or colleagues.