Home Fire News Florida Fire Chief resigns amid sexual harassment claims, left with six-figured payout

Florida Fire Chief resigns amid sexual harassment claims, left with six-figured payout

Neal de Jesus (Source: Delray Beach Fire Rescue Facebook/ City of Delray Beach)

A former Florida fire chief abruptly resigned earlier this year as the city was coming to a close on a sexual harassment investigation.

According to WPTV, Delray Beach Fire Chief Neal de Jesus walked out the door and into retirement with a clean name and an extra $131,000 in his pocket.

The city had been investigating de Jesus after he used sexual language to a female employee, pulled her hair, and touched her inappropriately on multiple occasions.

The former interim city manager also sent the employee several sexual innuendo-filled messages on the WhatsApp.

De Jesus resigned just before the investigation was completed.

The city’s report concluded, “based upon the information provided, there is insufficient evidence to conclude that [REDACTED] was subjected to unlawful sexual harassment.”

A city official states that the $131,000 that was paid out to de Jesus upon his resignation was for 180 days worth of pay that was owed to him.

“Had Mr. de Jesus remained on paid administrative leave for the 180 days afforded to him pursuant to his contract, he would have been entitled to remain on the city’s health plan, the contribution of 9.5% of his salary into his deferred compensation plan, a $2,000 housing allowance per month, use of a city vehicle with gas, and he would have continued to accrue paid sick and vacation leave. His negotiated departure therefore passed on a savings to the taxpayer as costs associated with these benefits were not incurred,” a city official wrote in an email.

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