By Romy Varghese | Bloomberg
California Treasury Secretary Fiona Ma faces a proceeding from a former Executive Secretary accusing her of sexual harassment, discrimination and illicit dismissal.
Judith Blackwell, who at one point oversaw two major mortgage lenders, said the treasurer repeatedly slammed her naked back end, according to a proceeding filed in a state court in Sacramento on July 13. He said he gave him gifts such as edible marijuana. According to Blackwell, Ma dismissed her in January without explaining why, and also claimed that the treasurer had dismissed another senior black employee.
“I’m saddened and disappointed with these unfounded claims,” Ma said in a statement emailed by a spokesman on Monday. “I would like to thank all the support I received today. To correct the record, we repeatedly refused to respond to the lawyer’s attempt to resolve. We look forward to revealing the truth in court.”
As an accountant, Ma oversees the sale of municipal bonds by California, the largest state issuer. Democratic Ma will take office in 2019 and says he wants to run for governor in 2026.
Ma appoints the Chairman of the California Debt Limit Allocation Commission. It is a radical agency responsible for allocating billions of dollars in tax exemption bonds, capped by the federal government and an essential limited resource for funding affordable homes. In January 2020, she fired her first Secretary-General just five months later and tapped Blackwell to take up that position. Blackwell was already Secretary-General of the California Tax Credit Allocation Commission, another major body that took office in September 2019.
Blackwell said in a complaint that from February 2020 she had been invited to spend a weekday night in a hotel room in Sacramento paid by the treasurer. According to Blackwell, Ma shared a room and deliberately exposed the backside. “It’s unpleasant and scary to comment on Mr. Ma’s lascivious behavior,” he said.
According to complaints, in May 2020, Ma began renting Sacramento Airbnb instead of a hotel for Blackwell and other employees and continued to showcase the bare rear end. At one point, the horse climbed to bed with Blackwell. Blackwell claims to pretend to be sleep “from fear and confusion.”
According to Blackwell, Ma also promised to provide better parking in front of jewelry, paintings and offices, and to promote her to sub-accounting after dismissing another black man from that location.
In September 2020, Blackwell suffered a stroke. According to the complaint, when she returned to work in November, she lost her parking lot and was given a deputy treasurer post to someone else.
Blackwell claimed that the horse did the work that the two of them had to complete and did not provide her assistance. Blackwell was fired in January, according to the complaint. The following month, Ma nominated Nancy Robles, who had previously led another institution under Ma’s supervision, as chairman of the committee. In the proceedings, Blackwell called her successor an “unqualified white woman.”
The Sacramento Bee first reported on the proceedings.
The case is Blackwell v. Ma, 34-2021-00304120, High Court in Sacramento County, California (Sacramento).
California treasurer Fiona Ma accused of sexually harassing agency director – Press Enterprise Source link California treasurer Fiona Ma accused of sexually harassing agency director – Press Enterprise