School board member Manny Martinez, who works as the vice principal of the College Achieve Charter School, is once again being accused of sexual harassment. A social worker has filed a lawsuit alleging Martinez, serving as her supervisor, made unwanted sexual advances.
Social worker Shannon Beaton filed the lawsuit against Martinez and the College Achieve Charter School last Wednesday.
On seven occasions Martinez touched Beaton’s body in an “inappropriate manner without her permission,” says the suit. On several occasions, Martinez allegedly touched her face with a microphone “to mimic oral sex.”
Martinez also asked her out on dates. She refused, but he continued to make sexual advances, according to the lawsuit.
Beaton filed a complaint with the school’s human resources. She was questioned by the school and later Martinez was no longer her supervisor.
Beaton identified Nicole Perna, a teacher and special education coordinator, as a witness. Martinez was made Perna’s supervisor.
Martinez allegedly retaliated against Perna by giving her a negative evaluation in May. Her contract was not renewed as a result. Before Martinez becoming her supervisor, Perona received “very good performance evaluations.”
Beaton’s contract was also not renewed, according to the lawsuit.
“College Achieve was negligent in that it allowed the hostile work environment to exist when it failed to have in place an effective anti-discrimination policy,” says the lawsuit. “College Achieve gave Mr. Martinez the authority to control plaintiffs’ work environment and he abused that authority.”
Both Beaton and Perna are suing Martinez and the charter school.
Neither the school nor Martinez filed a response in court to Beaton and Perna’s lawsuit.
College Achieve Charter School has been the subject of controversy since it opened its doors.
Martinez was hired by the school’s founder Gemar Mills in 2018 despite sexual harassment allegations. At the time, the Community Charter School of Paterson paid out $90,000 to settle a sexual harassment case brought against Martinez by a co-worker. Martinez worked as a supervisor at the Community Charter when he allegedly sexually harassed substitute teacher Toyreh Blacknell.
College Achieve Charter School’s principal Henry McNair has also been accused of sexual harassment. He allegedly groped a woman 20 times at a now-defunct Newark charter school.
Martinez serves as the vice president of the Board of Education in Paterson.
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