Community Improvement director David Gilmore, who has been accused of sexual harassment by a subordinate, should be fired, ruled the city’s hearing officer.
Retired judge Philip Mizzone, who serves as the city’s hearing officer, issued a five-page opinion last Thursday that stated Gilmore should be terminated from his position as director of the Community Improvement division because of “severe misconduct” that renders him “unfit.”
Gilmore has been accused of sexual harassment by Sandra Pavon, technical assistant to Gilmore’s nemesis Gennaro “Jerry” Lobozzo. He has vehemently denied the allegations and threatened to file a defamation lawsuit against mayor Andre Sayegh’s administration for tarnishing his reputation.
“I really can’t figure it out,” said Gilmore when asked about the adverse decision. “They never really made the case.”
Economic development director Michael Powell said he could not comment on a personnel matter.
Gilmore was suspended without pay on December 17, 2021. He was given a hearing on the disciplinary charges on January 28, 2022.
Pavon claimed Gilmore made her feel “uncomfortable” because he was allegedly snapping pictures or recording her using a phone, according to the decision issued by Mizzone.
Lobozzo sent a series of emails to deputy economic development director Osner Charles about the situation. Charles told Gilmore to no longer sit across from Pavon and not to make any contact with her.
One day, Pavon approached Gilmore and he allegedly remarked, “he thought Ms. Pavon was coming to give him a lap dance,” she testified at the hearing. At another point, Gilmore allegedly commented if a group of employees were drinking because they were laughing in the office.
Gilmore’s words allegedly had an “adverse impact” on Pavon, reads to the retired judge’s opinion, because she does not drink and had been in Alcoholics Anonymous for two decades.
Mizzone’s opinion has no rebuttals from Gilmore on the allegations. It appears to be based mostly on the testimony of Pavon.
“I’m going to appeal,” said Gilmore. He can file an appeal with the New Jersey Civil Service Commission to overturn the disciplinary actions taken by the city.
Gilmore has said the Sayegh administration is targeting him because of his political activities.
Sayegh administration officials are likely to move to terminate Gilmore using the retired judge’s decision.
Both Gilmore and Lobozzo have unresolved lawsuits against the city.