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Delray Beach city manager accused of bullying female coworkers

George Gretsas started the job in January
George Gretsas, Delray Beach City Hall
Posted at 2:17 PM, Jul 03, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-03 18:22:56-04

DELRAY BEACH, Fla. — Commissioners in Delray Beach put the city manager on administrative leave last week after a city employee complained she was bullied and harassed.

Delray city manager George Gretsas bullied and also retaliating against employees, according to an investigation.

Assistant City Manager Suzanne Fisher complained about Gretsas, who she said would often yell and scream at her and other female employees.

Investigators found "Gretsas' behavior towards at least five employees violated the bullying policy" and was "directed at specific groups." It also found Gretsas retaliated against Fisher after a complaint made by her.

"Retaliation and bullying are just not acceptable in our city," said Mayor Shelly Petrolia.

Petrolia said it is disappointing to learn this behavior was happening.

Mayor Shelly Petrolia
Mayor Shelly Petrolia says retaliation and bullying are just not acceptable in Delray Beach.

Gretsas just took the city manager job in January. He is the sixth city manager or interim city manager for Delray Beach since 2013, including Neal de Jesus, who served twice as interim city manager.

"There is no way this commission could stand by and allow this behavior to continue one day longer when we knew it was happening," said Petrolia.

Gretsas denies bullying and retaliating to investigators and released the following statement on Friday:

"To say that the report was drafted with a predetermined bias and in collusion would be a gross understatement. As the facts come to light, they will show that this work of fiction was designed to cover up gross incompetence, negligence and corruption at City Hall and for jeopardizing the public health.
I look forward to providing the public, the Commission and the appropriate governing agencies with a full and complete response at the appropriate time."

Next week the city will meet to determine what action to take based on the findings.

"Now, we will start the investigation into Mr. Gretsas and his time here with us," said Petrolia.

The Delray Beach City Commission will meet next week to discuss the findings in this investigation and decide the next moves to make.

"We were looking for someone who could lend stability in the position of the city manager," said Petrolia.