Name Blame

A former Pesce manager says he was forced to pay for his Arabic heritage

Mandola was reported to be away and unavailable for comment. His attorney, Laura DeSantos, also declined to discuss the case. Basically, Pesce's co-owner and his lawyer have reportedly told EEOC investigators that El-Raheb was dismissed for legitimate reasons and that he falsely told Mandola that he had extensive restaurant management experience. His attorney, Robert Rosenberg, says the résumé provided to Mandola clearly showed his background was in the hotel industry.

Other reported defenses are that El-Raheb performed poorly and that he didn't get along with customers or staff. The restaurant also disputes that revenues dropped significantly after 9/11.

Houston EEOC director H. Joan Ehrlich could not comment on the complaint, but some witnesses say investigators have already talked with them.

El-Raheb argues that he improved Pesce's profits.
El-Raheb argues that he improved Pesce's profits.

Meanwhile, El-Raheb is still unemployed, a situation he attributes to the downturn in the service industry and a tarnished reputation.

"He has permanently affected my career," El-Raheb says of his former boss. "I didn't do anything wrong. I didn't harass anyone, I didn't steal…I just went in and tried to do the best job that I could…I know he's a big man in town, but that doesn't make him right."

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