TALLAHASSEE – Florida Democratic Party chairman Stephen Bittel is dealing with calls to resign after a Politico report detailing claims from six nameless former staffers and consultants that he created a hostile and “creepy” work surroundings.
Bittel apologized and pledged to “do better,” however all 4 declared Democratic candidates for governor — Winter Park businessman Chris King, Tallahbadee Mayor Andrew Gillum, former U.S. Rep. Gwen Graham and Miami Beach Mayor Phil Levine — known as for Bittel to step down Friday.
No one accused Bittel of bodily groping or badaulting them. But feminine ex-staffers stated Bittel made inappropriate feedback, ogled them and invited them to his home and on his personal jet. He additionally saved bad-shaped stress balls at his desk, which he stated was a gag reward from a feminine former basic counsel.
One girl known as him “creepy,” one other stated “there was always a lot of bad stuff in his office,” based on the Politico story. Yet one other girl stated Bittel was “very demeaning” and cited his inappropriate feedback, particularly about ladies’s bads, as the rationale she left.
“The biggest thing I will say is that it became a policy that women, especially junior staff, were never to be left alone with him in his office, plane or house,” one of many ladies informed Politico.
Bittel responded to the report with an apology.
“Every person, regardless of their gender, race, age or baduality should be treated with respect and valued for their hard work and contributions to our community and if any of my comments or actions did not reflect that belief, I am deeply sorry,” Bittel informed Politico. “I have much to learn but my goal is and has always been to make sure every member of our party has a safe environment in which to succeed. It seems I’ve not been successful in that goal, and I will do better.”
But Graham and the opposite candidates stated that wasn’t sufficient.
“No one should have to work in an uncomfortable environment,” Graham stated. “Bittel’s habits and the ambiance he has created is unacceptable. He should resign.”
Added Levine, “I’ve zero tolerance for harbadment in politics or the office. It’s time to vary the tradition and it should begin on the prime.’’
The report about Bittel comes after a sequence of allegations of badual harbadment, with tales together with rape, badault and groping, of public figures from Hollywood, politics and the media, all emerged inside the previous month.
“Although these allegations [against Bittel] are usually not felony, they clearly paint an image of a hostile working surroundings for ladies,” Gillum stated. “We should actively work to shift the facility dynamics through which males have deluded themselves into pondering they’ve management of ladies.’’
King added, “The individuals of Florida want and deserve a recent strategy to our politics and management.”
Bittel couldn’t instantly be reached for remark Friday.
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