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West Palm asks FDLE for 'assistance' investigating rape allegations against fmr. city administrator

Posted at 6:13 PM, Nov 19, 2019

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — The Florida Department of Law Enforcement told Contact 5 on Tuesday, the city of West Palm Beach had reached out and requested assistance in the case of sexual harassment and abuse allegations by a former city staffer against former city administrator Jeff Green.

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A spokesperson from FDLE stated they had not yet received a formal request “nor any supporting documents or evidence from the city so we can conduct our initial review”.

City officials also reached out to the State Attorney’s office, offering their assistance if a complaint was to come. Officials with the State Attorney’s office said they are not an investigative agency for sex crimes.

It all follows the latest, explosive allegations from former city employee Sharagay Esposito who says she was raped by Green.

The latest allegations were made in a letter sent by her attorney to the city.

According to the letter, Green summoned Esposito to a bar during work hours, followed by the claim to retrieve something at City Hall. “There in a conference room Mr. Green forced Ms. Esposito to have sexual intercourse”.

Esposito also implicated Willie Perez, the regional director of the security company that received an $7.9 million no-bid contract.

The letter states Perez asked her to have sex with him at Green’s house. In a separate occasion, Green allegedly asked her to have a three-way with himself and Green’s wife.

“His (Green’s) actions were wrong,” Mayor Keith James said on Monday. “His behavior was deplorable. It should never have happened.”

While the allegations are serious, commissioners voted against the proposed $180,000 settlement, saying they had not been given enough information.

“We don’t have a full context from A to Z from all sides,” City Commissioner Kelly Shoaf said during the meeting on Monday.

Commissioner Richard Ryles said he learned more about the settlement from media coverage than from city staff.

He also said he was not informed of the first offer of $350,000 sent by Esposito’s attorney.

Another key concern for commissioner during Monday’s meeting was the lack of investigation into the claims surrounding the allegations.

“Have we been able to substantiate any of these claims with the people who they were alleged against?” Shoaf asked the city attorney during Monday’s meeting.

“If you mean have we spoken directly to Mr. Green no we, I have not,” City Attorney Kimberly Rothenburg said.

Green has not responded to numerous requests for comment from Contact 5 but he has denied the allegations to the Palm Beach Post.

Esposito’s attorney also claims to have emails and photos, including a picture of a Perez’s private parts he allegedly sent to Esposito.

Then, according to the letter, there were also several sexually charged text messages from Green to Esposito.

Since the allegations went up from sexual misconduct at the work place to rape, commissioners wanted more information to make a decision.

“We need to be able to look at the evidence,” Commissioner Joe Peduzzi said. “Maybe we need to look into having an independent agency come in and at least investigate the whole situation.”

Esposito’s attorney, Isidro Garcia, said on Tuesday, filing a lawsuit against the city is something he and his client are currently debating.

A lawsuit could cost the city more than the proposed settlement but commissioners said on Monday they felt they needed more information before making that decision.

Two experts tell Contact 5 it is unusual to not present commissioners with all the facts of a proposed settlement.