EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – Northeast City Rep. Joe Molinar has completed his required harassment and discrimination training, according to documents released by the City of El Paso.
A city employee accused Molinar of repeatedly asking her to dance at a city Thanksgiving luncheon last year and refusing to take “no” for an answer.
Then, after the luncheon, a report by an independent investigator showed that Molinar approached her again and told her she “owed him a dance” and she again said no.
In an interview with KTSM, Molinar admitted that he asked the co-worker to dance twice but not multiple times.
He claims that the independent investigation was biased.
“The third party that conducted the investigation did not conduct a quality investigation. My legislative aide was never interviewed. This was a biased interview, a biased investigation,” Molinar said.
The report goes on to say that after he was refused the dance, Molinar then allegedly told the co-worker that he was going to direct City Manager Tommy Gonzalez to make her dance with him.
A report done by Clara B. Burns, an attorney with El Paso law firm Kemp Smith, concluded that “Molinar’s conduct violated the City’s Sexual Harassment Prevention Policy.”
Molinar said in the interview that he did not have such an interaction.
He said there was surveillance video that would prove his claim, but that it had “mysteriously been deleted.”
The report also said Molinar allegedly ended a conversation with that same co-worker by saying “OK, babe” back in spring of 2021 which made her feel uncomfortable.
Molinar denied the allegations.
“Other allegation, that I called this person a name, a term of endearment or affection – totally ludicrous, totally false. They claim that I said that statement or this word in 2021. However, the city has never been able to tell me what date in 2021 or in what set of circumstances,” Molinar said.
The report also concluded that Molinar’s “conduct was inappropriate and that the Complainant was uncomfortable, intimidated and offended by the conduct.”
Earlier this year, the City Council voted to have Mayor Oscar Leeser write a warning letter to Molinar and require him to complete additional training within 90 days.
Molinar said he accepted the training on the advice of his counsel.
Documents show that Molinar completed his harassment training on May 8 and 10. The training was one hour each (two total hours) through the City of El Paso Training Institute.