Former Wellness Center employee had suffered abuse, bullying
By JOSH RESNEK
The City of Everett or its insurer has allegedly paid a victim of sexual harassment and bullying at the Wellness Center $250,000, according to a variety of sources, all of whom wished to remain unnamed.
The city has not indicated that its lawyers or outside counsel have negotiated such a settlement.
The mayor refused to comment on the situation.
“This matter should be reviewed in its entirety and, if it did in fact occur, anyone involved with this disturbing conduct should be held fully accountable. We, as a community, have an obligation to provide a respectful and safe environment for employees residents, and the general public,” mayoral candidate councilor Fred Capone told the Leader Herald.
For all intents and purposes, the city has hushed up the settlement this, despite the promise made to mayoral candidate and city councilor at large Gerly Adrien.
Adrien got the city solicitor’s office to agree to publish all settlements and actions against the city and their outcome several months ago.
No such mention of the settlement has been forthcoming from the city solicitor’s office or the mayor.
The victim has likely been ordered not to comment on the settlement.
However, we know this.
The young woman experience sexual harassment and bullying. Both issues “loomed very large in her life,” her father told the Leader Herald in 2018.
“She’s nervous. She has anxiety. This has been a terrible experience for her,” the father said.
The Leader Herald first reported the allegations of sexual harassment and bullying in a September 18, 2018, article titled, “Charges of Bullying and Sexual Harassment at Wellness Center.”
The front page Leader Herald article was ridiculed by a number of city officials at the time, including members of the city’s legal department.
“We know nothing of such charges or of lawsuits against the city,” they said at the time in comments published in the Everett Independent.
The former Wellness Center employee, a younger woman, had apparently told the former Wellness Center director Karen Avila about the sexual harassment and bullying.
“I have no idea or anything about this. I have nothing to say on it,” she told the Leader Herald at the time.
Avila was fired from her position because of inaccuracies about her education and qualifications found in her resume.
Also, one of the two sexual harassers and bullies believed to be involved in this settlement remains a city employee today.
It is not known whether or not that employee has been reprimanded by Human Services.