Auditor’s office mired with complaints

Multiple harassment complaints have been made against the San Jose City Auditor’s Office. Details follow:

A woman who filed a sexual harassment suit this week against the San Jose City Auditor’s Office was not the first person to claim the office was a hostile work environment, her attorney said today.

Jennifer Callaway, an auditor who has worked at the office since 2002, filed her lawsuit Wednesday. She claims that beginning in March 2003 her immediate supervisor Deputy City Auditor David Moreno and City Auditor Gerald Silva and other unnamed co-defendants created a sexually hostile work environment.

“Plaintiff’s superiors, including defendant Moreno, Gerald Silva and others, made offensive and inappropriate remarks, comments and innuendos about sex and/or women, openly discussed their own and other’s sexual preferences, practices and frustrations, asked Jennifer Callaway about her own sexual preferences and practices, commented on Plaintiff’s anatomy, leered or stared at the bodies of Jennifer Callaway and other women, touched Jennifer Callaway in offensive and inappropriate ways,” according to the lawsuit.

Callaway’s attorney, Robert Bohn, Jr., said his client was not the first person to come forward and make a sexual harassment complaint. “Initially she was not the one who complained about the sexually hostile work environment,” Bohn said.

Callaway was called as a witness in connection with another person’s complaint and when she told her story the situation at the auditor’s office degenerated to the point where she felt a lawsuit was necessary, Bohn said.

Callaway is on administrative leave from the auditor’s office as is Silva.

San Jose City Attorney Rick Doyle would not comment on Callaway’s lawsuit.

“It’s litigation. It’s a personnel issue. I really don’t have any comment,” Doyle said.

The San Jose City Council has already had several closed-door sessions about the turmoil in the auditor’s office. The City Council is scheduled to discuss the situation again Tuesday in a closed session.