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Friday, November 30, 2018

Florida law enforcement officials will open inquiry into Rick Singh after lawsuit alleges he misused taxpayer funds

Posted By on Fri, Nov 30, 2018 at 5:06 PM

  • Photo by Monivette Cordeiro
Florida law enforcement officials will open an inquiry into Orange County Property Appraiser Rick Singh after former employees alleged in a federal lawsuit that Singh spent taxpayer money on personal trips and brought strippers into his office after hours

The inquiry will be conducted by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement's Office of Executive Investigations.

"FDLE will conduct a preliminary inquiry to further assess these allegations for potential criminal conduct," the agency said in a statement.

OCPA spokesperson Beth Watson says Singh's office has not received any communication from FDLE.

Singh's former finance director Aisha Hassan and communications director Laverne McGee filed a lawsuit earlier this month alleging Singh subjected them to sexual harassment and a hostile work environment.

McGee said her boss instructed her to "cover" for him and lie to his wife when he brought strippers to the office after hours.

"Singh referred to women as 'bitches,' 'whores,' and 'skanks,'" the complaint alleges. "Singh referred to an African-American reporter as a 'black bitch' and 'n——r.'"

On Thursday, Watson said an investigative report conducted found "no evidence" to support McGee and Hassan's allegations. Watson added that the two women were terminated last August after several months of paid leave during the investigation for "excessive violation of agency policies and unethical behavior."

"These allegations are completely baseless and clearly made with the sole intention of damaging Mr. Singh personally," the office said in a statement. "Mr. Singh vehemently denies these malicious attacks on his character."

Hassan and McGee further alleged that Singh spent thousands in taxpayer funds for personal trips, to the point of telling McGee to create a document listing places he wanted to go and come up with false justifications to support the trips.

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