Lawsuit: City Official Demeaned Minorities, Had “Screaming Tirades” And Used Public Money To Buy Personal Items

 

BY BUDDY NEVINS

 

 

He called one Hispanic employee “Jose Caca.” Caca is common slang for excrement.

He pounded his desk and screamed when he was upset.

He used a city credit card to solve a plumbing problem in his home.

And when his office manager complained about him, she was transferred and demoted.

If half of what is alleged about Dania Beach Public Services Director Brad Kaine in a whistleblower lawsuit is true, something is really rotten in City Hall.

But what happens in Dania Beach City Hall stopped surprising me along ago.

 

City Investigation Cleared Kaine

 

To be fair, anybody with a few bucks can sue anybody else. A lawsuit is an allegation against somebody, not proof.

A city investigation cleared Kaine of everything alleged in the lawsuit.

This suit could just be a disgruntled employee with a grudge towards her former boss and a desire for a big payoff in court.

Regardless, it is an embarrassment for Dania Beach:

The suit by city Office Manager Sherie Dunleavy alleges her written complaints about Kaine’s “abusive, illness-inducing management style” resulted in her being punished. She says that she was transferred and her pay was cut after reporting that her boss Kaine had “screaming tirades,” used demeaning nicknames for minority employees and bought personal items with city money.

Filed against Dania Beach, the suit asks that Dunleavy be reinstated to her previous salary. It also asks for back pay, attorney’s fees and damages.

 

 

Brad Kaine

 

Dunleavy’s suit contends that everything began to go downhill in City Hall after Kaine was hired as the Public Services Director in October 2015.

The suit claims that Kaine:

  • Called a Trinidian employee “Kalli Bananas” and a Hispanic “Jose Caca.”  Caca is slang for excrement often used by Hispanics. Another Hispanic employee was nicknamed by Kaine “Ricardo Montalban” after the late actor.
  • Launched into “screaming tirades in the office, punctuated by pounding on desks or tables, and saying he ‘wanted to kill’ the finance manager whenever she blocked his efforts to violate the procurement politices.”
  • Caused Dunleavy and one other employee  “to suffer, respectively, anxiety attacks and hypertension.”
  • Used a city credit card to buy 16 packs of AA and AAA batteries, a toilet plunger and toilet augur without a purchase order.  When Dunleavy questioned the purchase, she was allegedly told that Kaine needed the items because he had a “plumbing issue at his house.”

When Kaine found out that his purchase was questioned by Dunleavy, he allegedly yelled at her “and told her he no longer trusted her.”

Shortly afterwards she was transferred from Public Service to Parks & Recreation.

An investigation by the city’s Human Resources found “no evidence of wrongdoing by Mr. Kaine” concerning his use of a city credit card. The city found that her other complaints about Dunleavy were “unsubstantiated.”

Dunleavy was chastised for “drawing conclusions and communicating those conclusions to other employees” before the city had completed its investigation of Kaine.

After being cleared, Kaine allegedly recommended that Dunleavy be fired. The city instead chose to cut her pay from $69,607 to $56,077.

The whistleblower suit has been assigned to Broward Circuit Judge Sandra Perlman.

Dunleavy’s attorney is veteran Fort Lauderdale employee law attorney William Amlong and his wife, Karen Amlong. In their previous lives before law school decades ago, William was a Pulitzer Prize-nominated reporter for the Miami Herald and Karen was a Broward state House member.

 

 

 

 

 

 



3 Responses to “Lawsuit: City Official Demeaned Minorities, Had “Screaming Tirades” And Used Public Money To Buy Personal Items”

  1. Management Consultant says:

    This woman could just be a disgruntled employee. A decent manager should be able to calm this situation down short of what it became today. That is what I got out of the article. This guy is a bad manager.

  2. City activist Robert Walsh says:

    Another one playing the big shot with other peoples money(taxpayer dollars).Unreal.Should be fired at once…

  3. A reader says:

    What else could be expected from a town whose mayor, who was involved in a “lumber distribution” from a store in Hollywood after hours just before Hurricane Irma hit? What in the world would the current mayor of Dania Beach, a protege of Walter Duke, be doing around midnight at a closed lumber store in Hollywood in the middle of a hurricane??
    The history of Dania Beach documents about 400 absentee ballots,including some filled out by felons and a dead person…. History also documents an assault on a resident by said Walter Duke, a current candidate for the District 4 Fort Lauderdale City Commission. Said Walter Duke resigned his commission seat in Dania Beach to run for the Fort Lauderdale seat.
    At least one of the sitting Dania Beach commissioners accepted money from a known drug dealer, now deceased, when she first ran for office.
    Dania Beach’s political history is quite grim. Let’s hope the baggage does not pollute Fort Lauderdale via the campaign of Walter Duke.