Suspended Community Improvement director David Gilmore has filed a notice to sue mayor Andre Sayegh’s administration for alleged defamation.
Gilmore claims economic development director Michael Powell, construction official Gennaro “Jerry” Lobozzo, and technical assistant Sandra Pavon “made defamatory statements” that “caused false disciplinary charges to be issued against him,” reads the claim notice.
Pavon accused Gilmore of sexual harassment that led to his suspension in December. She is assistant to Lobozzo, who is a rival of Gilmore’s. Officials initially said Gilmore was suspended for five days, but then imposed indefinite suspension seeking to terminate him.
“The statements are false in their entity and have damaged his reputation,” says the claim filed by Gilmore’s lawyer on January 22. He has a previous lawsuit against the city that remains pending.
Gilmore had a hearing related to the accusation and his employment status with the city in January and is waiting on a decision.
The notice states the alleged false accusations were made against Gilmore to further Lobozzo’s lawsuit against the city. It also states the alleged defamatory statements led to Gilmore’s “health to deteriorate.” He has had to take more blood pressure medication as a result, says the claim.
Gilmore is seeking $500,000 to resolve the claim.
Gilmore alleged the accusations against him were concocted by Lobozzo and his assistant. Lobozzo did not return a call for comment on Friday. Gilmore said the city did not conduct a proper investigation.
“I believe it was a predetermined decision before I was even given an opportunity to defend myself,” said Gilmore of his suspension.
Powell declined to comment for this story.