Latino Business Group Weighs Harassment Allegation Against CEO

Ms. Vaca declined to comment. Her allegations of financial impropriety led substructure directors to revoke Mr. Palomarez’s responsibilities, according to substructure house minutes, and a chamber’s directors to cruise forcing his abdication final fall, according to cover house mins and to people tighten to a board.

Gissel Gazek Nicholas, Mr. Palomarez’s former arch of staff, has indicted him of passionate harassment. Ms. Nicholas, who was dismissed final fall, finished a accusations in a minute that her counsel wrote to a chamber’s house and in an talk with The Times. The minute pronounced that Mr. Palomarez intimately assaulted her, combined a antagonistic work sourroundings and wrongfully consummated her from her arch of staff role.

The Hispanic Chamber of Commerce calls itself a voice of 4.4 million Hispanic-owned businesses.

Mr. Palomarez, who was named arch executive 8 years ago, has lifted a organization’s profile. He has advocated for Latino business interests on radio and in op-ed articles, cumulative entrance to successful total in a White House and on Capitol Hill and strengthened a chamber’s relations with companies like Coca-Cola and Goldman Sachs. In September, he resigned from President Trump’s National Diversity Coalition to publicly criticism Mr. Trump’s preference to finish a Barack Obama-era module that shields immature undocumented immigrants from deportation, famous strictly as a Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, program.

Last year, shortly before Mr. Palomarez’s practice agreement was due to expire, Ms. Vaca reviewed his compensate and opening from before years, according to people tighten to a house and to a Texas justice filings. She detected what she described to associate directors as a allotment of inapt annual raises and other payouts, according to people tighten to a board, including Maria Cardona, who was a executive during a time. Ms. Vaca estimated that Mr. Palomarez was paid hundreds of thousands of dollars some-more than he was entitled to underneath his contract, according to house minutes.

Six members of a board’s executive cabinet voted on Oct. 31 to give Mr. Palomarez a possibility to renounce within a week and repay a cover a negotiated volume of money. At that point, a classification estimated a overpayment during $500,000 to $600,000, according to a house minutes.


Nina Vaca, a former president of a cover who runs a Pinnacle Group, a record services organisation formed in Dallas, has lifted allegations of financial impropriety opposite Mr. Palomarez. He disputes a accusations.

LM Otero/Associated Press

“What he did was financially inapt during best, and if he had finished this during any other organization, he would have been dismissed on a spot,” pronounced Ms. Cardona, who voted to reject Mr. Palomarez.

About a month later, in early December, Ms. Cardona and dual other womanlike directors who wanted Mr. Palomarez to renounce were forced off a house since they hadn’t paid their annual house impost on time, according to Ms. Cardona.


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On Dec. 6, a house again deliberate a allegations of overpayment, though deserted them, according to a Texas filing. A mouthpiece defended by a organization’s house had no evident criticism on a matter.

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Ms. Nicholas’s nuisance explain stemmed from an occurrence that she says occurred in Chicago in 2013. Mr. Palomarez was there for an eventuality with a city’s mayor, and he asked Ms. Nicholas and other employees to join him in his hotel apartment for last-minute preparations, according to Ms. Nicholas and dual other people who were there. Late that night, as a organisation was withdrawal his suite, Mr. Palomarez asked Ms. Nicholas to stay behind, they said.

Ms. Nicholas pronounced he asked her to lay down with him and plead a subsequent day’s event.

“He grabbed my palm gently, and is rubbing a behind of my hand, and says that he’s impossibly captivated to me, and wondered what it would be like to be with me,” Ms. Nicholas pronounced in an interview. “He asked if we had ever suspicion about being with him.”

She pronounced she rebuffed Mr. Palomarez, while perplexing to equivocate an ungainly situation.

“I said, ‘Oh, Jav, we shouldn’t go there,’” Ms. Nicholas said. On her approach out a door, she pronounced he pulled her toward him and attempted to lick her before she pennyless away.

Her comment was advanced by an email she sent to a crony hours after a incident, as good as a second crony whom she told about a occurrence during a time.

Mr. Palomarez denies that a occurrence took place. He pronounced in a Texas justice filing that Ms. Vaca, a cover house member during a time that Ms. Nicholas’s allegations surfaced, put Ms. Nicholas adult to fabricating a passionate nuisance explain in sell for a guarantee that Ms. Nicholas could reinstate Mr. Palomarez as a chamber’s arch executive.

Ms. Nicholas pronounced that is fake and that she was never meddlesome in apropos a chamber’s arch executive.

Mr. Palomarez has faced nuisance allegations before. In 1996, when he worked during Allstate Insurance, he was sued by a subordinate, Yolanda Hernandez, who indicted him of creation revealing comments, kissing her and fixation his palm on her thigh during an out-of-town business gathering. Ms. Hernandez eventually became aroused of stalking and “other provocative acts” and left a association shortly afterward, according to a lawsuit.

The box was after settled, according to a counsel for Ms. Hernandez. She is now a marketer in a Chicago area. Her counsel pronounced a allotment enclosed a confidentiality agreement.

Asked about a Allstate suit, Mr. Palomarez’s lawyer, Tony Buzbee, said, “Javier didn’t harass anyone.”

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