SOUTH BEND, Ind. — Democratic colleagues of a man credibly accused of sexual harassment gave him a standing ovation when he returned to work at the St. Joseph County Voter Registration Office after being away for two weeks as “punishment” for his actions, according to Zach Potts, St. Joseph County GOP Chair, and others who are familiar with the incident. All of that happening while his alleged victim was still working in the same office. But, you wouldn’t know that if you’ve watched or read any of the established local media. They’ve unsurprisingly botched this story. In fact, I personally told several of my former colleagues in the local media about the incidents months ago. They only reported on it after a lawsuit was filed.
Muhammad Shabazz, the Democratic Board Member of the Voter Registration office, is now being sued by his accuser in federal court along with the St. Joseph County Board of Commissioners.
According to the lawsuit filed late last week, Shabazz was persistent in his advances toward his female Republican colleague. Despite her explaining she was happily married, he continued to harass her. He would ask her to kiss. He would call her with sexual advances. And, continued this behavior even after the alleged victim notified her superiors.
The victim and several others in the office complained about Shabazz’ behavior to the county Human Resources Director, Kim Karkiewicz. Karkiewicz directed Shabazz to work from home, but he returned two weeks later in part because Karkiewicz “lacked the authority to direct Shabazz’ work performance.” That’s because Shabazz was appointed to his position by the chair of the county’s Democrat party, according to court documents.
Knowing she would have to work with her accused sexual harasser, the alleged victim in this case resigned.
But, that’s just what’s in the lawsuit. According to the GOP Chair, Zach Potts, his party and office was stonewalled by the democrats and folks within the county-city building for months. The following timeline was also supplied to local media outlets. They all failed to report it.
“I learned of the incident on September 22nd.” Potts said. “My two Republican workers have been called racial slurs, sexist slurs, had sexual innuendos made about them and were sexually harassed.”
Potts says he immediately contacted the Democrat Chair, the Democrat Vice-Chair and the county’s HR department calling for the immediate removal of Shabazz by the beginning of the following week.
“I heard nothing.” He said. “The county HR person responded quickly and assured me they take matters like this seriously, although we have found that to be false.”
Four days later, Potts says the county attorney contacted him and said Shabazz was going to work from home until after the 2020 general election and he agreed to apologize.
“This response from the County HR and Attorney to sexual harassment was disturbing. A huge failure on the County’s part. (Not only was he sent to work from home during the busiest and most important weeks leading up to the election) to this day he has not apologized.” Potts said.
Potts says Shabazz actually got overtime pay while working from home during what was supposed to be “punishment” for his behavior.
“The Democrat Chair can remove their appointed Board member at any time for any reason, yet has failed to remove him after committing sexual harassment against a female co-worker and female subordinate.” Potts added. “I demand that the Democrat Chair remove their alleged sexual predator Democrat Board member. If he won’t, then he needs to resign.”
“This is an office that the public interacts with on a daily basis and they should not have to worry about becoming a victim when interacting with their local government.” Potts concluded.
So much for #MeToo and #BelieveAllWomen.
Once again, this is a story I floated to local outlets months ago. It was ignored until the lawsuit was filed. And, the only reason any reporter knew about the lawsuit was because I told them about it. I was hoping for fair coverage. I was wrong. This is just the icing on the cake within the Voter Registration office. I’ve been looking into other substantiated claims of corruption involving Democrat Party members there. I’ll release the REAL story on that soon. No need to bother with your “hard-working” journalists at WSBT, WNDU, ABC57 or the South Bend Tribune.
[…] in this case is a Republican. REAL News Michiana reported on the lawsuit and subsequent reporting here. RNM didn’t name the victim then and will not […]