EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — A report done by an outside investigator into harassment claims against El Paso City Rep. Joe Molinar reveals what was said about him by a city employee.
The report says the employee claims Molinar asked to dance with her at a city Thanksgiving luncheon last year. She says she said no and he continued to ask her.
Then after the luncheon, the report says the employee said Molinar approached her again and told her that she “owed him a dance” and she said no. He then allegedly whispered that he was going to direct the city manager, Tommy Gonzalez, to make her dance with him.
The report says the employee said she first felt uncomfortable with Molinar in the spring of 2021 when he ended a phone conversation with her by saying, “OK, babe.”
Molinar was interviewed for the investigation and the report says Molinar denied saying anything about having the city manager direct the woman to dance with her and denied ever calling the woman “babe.”
However, the report says Molinar did say he asked the woman to dance but not numerous times.
“He (Molinar) said that he was seated at a table next to the table where Complainant was and that he observed her moving to the music in her chair. He reported because of that, he went to her table and asked her to dance. He said she said no. He said he may have asked her one more time, but he did not ask her 15 times to dance,” the report said about an interview with Molinar.
At the end of the report, it says that evidence supports that Molinar’s conduct was inappropriate and that the woman was uncomfortable, intimidated and offended by his conduct.
The El Paso City Council voted to have Mayor Oscar Leeser write a warning letter to Molinar as a result of the harassment claims back on February 28.
During that same council meeting, the council voted to terminate City Manager Tommy Gonzalez’s contract, an item Molinar had put on the agenda.
In the letter to Molinar from Leeser, it says that Molinar’s conduct made the employee feel uncomfortable.
“As a member of the City Council, you hold a position of authority,” the mayor’s letter said.
The letter said Molinar is required to have additional harassment and discrimination training within 90 days.
“Any further complaints and findings of harassment of abuse of authority, I will consider removing you from your leadership role on the City Council and possible removal from Council Committees,” the letter from Leeser said.