Medic settles, quits job

Complaint alleged sexual harassment

By Jeff Burlew

DEMOCRAT STAFF WRITER


The Leon County paramedic whose sexual-harrassment complaint led to the ouster of the Emergency Medical Services chief has quit her job.

Aimee Moore was paid $10,000 and her attorney $5,000 as part of a settlement in which she agreed not to make disparaging remarks about the county in public or private, including to members of the media. Any violation would result in a $2,500 fine per breach.

She agreed in the settlement to drop a complaint she had filed with the Florida Commission on Human Relations that outlined alleged sexual harassment within the county's ambulance service. Neither Moore nor her attorney, John C. Davis, could be reached for comment.

Moore signed a release stating that both she and the county wanted to resolve claims relating to her complaint "in an amicable manner without the difficulties and expenses involved in protracted and costly litigation."

County Attorney Herb Thiele said Moore "wanted to go on and go elsewhere, and we tried to figure out a way to help get her to do that."

She agreed in the settlement not to pursue further legal action against the county.

Moore, who went to work for the county in February 2004, filed a complaint with the county this past February stating that Maj. Michael DeSouza had been sexually harassing her since she started her job.

A subsequent investigation by the county found that DeSouza engaged in behavior such as inappropriate language, touching and joking and that EMS Chief Dan Moynihan had not taken appropriate action to stop the behavior. Both were fired that month. Moynihan, denying wrongdoing, filed his own complaint against the county with the human relations commission.

Moore filed hers with the state commission April 6. In the complaint, she stated she "experienced escalating levels of sexual harassment until it has become difficult for me to perform my job without a great deal of anxiety and frustration. My objections to the harassment have gone unheeded. The sexually hostile environment has been ongoing and well-known to all. The county failed to deal with it, however, until I filed my complaint."

She left the job May 20.