Allegations that the CEO of an energy company dropped his pants during a work dinner, tried to force his way into the hotel room of a woman colleague and stole the woman's cell phone in order to place sexual prank calls may be bunk, but at least they've got a bit of punch to them.
The former Chief Operating Officer of Glacial Energy Holdings, Amparo Gasca, is suing her former company in Houston federal court for allegedly creating such a poor and hostile work environment she felt forced to quit.
The company, however, says the lawsuit is pure blather.
"It's totally unfounded," says Charles Kaplan, attorney for Glacial Energy. "The fact pattern is not even correct. It's totally unfounded. I don't know what more I can say [than] 'It's totally unfounded.'"
Glacial Energy Holdings appears to be a company that sells electricity in markets including New York, New Jersey, Maryland, and Texas. According to the man who answered the main phone number at the company's Dallas office, "We sell the most commodity on the face of the earth, electricity. We've never been sued or had to sue anybody. It's a beautiful business."
A quick search through the federal court system shows he's right, at least about the not suing or being sued part.
Still, here are the specifics according to Gasca's lawsuit:
Gasca claims that her boss, CEO Gary Mole, asked her to organize a dinner at Americas Restaurant on Post Oak with several work colleagues and their wives in August 2007. At the dinner, Gasca claims Mole got drunk and tried to kiss a male co-worker. When Mole's wife told her husband to stop it, Mole said he wanted to see who was "more of a man" and told the male co-worker to pull down his pants. When the man refused, Mole then pulled down his own pants and made lewd comments.
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Gasca claims she and another woman fled.
Four months after the alleged de-pantsing incident, Gasca was staying at a hotel in Massachusetts on business when she got a phone call at 3:30 a.m. It was the front desk, telling her that a drunken Mole was demanding to be let into her room.
The very next morning, Gasca claims, she accidentally left her cell phone in a conference room when she went to the restroom. When she returned, she discovered that Mole and another co-worker were using her phone to "leave sexually explicit and demeaning voicemail messages" to one of Gasca's male friends. When Gasca told them to stop, they did not and left further messages.
Gasca is suing for lost wages, emotional distress and punitive damages.