Javier Palomarez steps down amid sexual harassment claims

The head of a prominent Latino business organization can be leaving his job amid allegations of financial impropriety along with sexual harassment.

Late Monday, directors of the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce announced in which the group’s president along with chief executive, Javier Palomarez, would likely step aside.

“After much deliberation along with careful consideration for the future of the USHCC,” the board said, “Mr. Palomarez along with the board of directors have mutually agreed to undergo a leadership transition for the organization effective immediately.”

The board made no mention of the allegations in which have enveloped its chief executive, saying only in which the item was committed to “dignity, respect, along which has a careful stewardship of its financial resources.” The departure follows the board’s announcement on Friday in which the item had hired an outside law firm to investigate “various allegations,” however did not offer details or specify who was the subject of the claims.

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As part of the statement on Monday, Mr. Palomarez said he was “extremely proud” of his tenure at the chamber, which calls itself the voice of 4.4 million Hispanic-owned businesses.

Mr. Palomarez, who has run the organization for close to a decade, was accused by a longtime board member last fall of paying himself hundreds of thousands of dollars more than he was entitled to under his contract, according to minutes via the board’s charitable foundation along which has a Texas court filing.

inside Texas filing, Mr. Palomarez denied any financial impropriety. He said in a statement Friday in which the claims against him sprang via a “retaliatory effort” by Nina Vaca, the board member who flagged them first. Ms. Vaca declined to comment.

Mr. Palomarez was also accused of sexually harassing his former chief of staff, Gissel Gazek Nicholas. In an interview with The fresh York Times, Ms. Nicholas said in which at the end of a group meeting in a Chicago hotel suite in 2013, he asked her to stay behind after the others left, then asked if she had ever thought about “being” with him along with tried to kiss her. Her account was corroborated by an email she sent to a friend within hours of the incident along with another friend in whom she confided afterward.

A lawyer for Ms. Nicholas, who was fired via her job last November after eight years at the organization, has threatened to sue both Mr. Palomarez along with the organization for sexual assault, sexual harassment, creating a hostile work environment along with retaliation.

In his statement Friday, Mr. Palomarez said, “I categorically deny these deeply troubling allegations.”

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