May 8, 2017-If allegations in a complaint filed in Federal Court today are true, Lake County taxpayers are going to be picking up the tab once again for misconduct occurring at the government center. Former Lake County Recorder employee Estella Montalvo filed a federal lawsuit alleging that she was promised a full-time job in return for sexual favors. According to the Complaint, Ms. Montalvo began work as a part-time clerk in August 2014. “Almost immediately after she was hired, Brown began making sexual advances with an implicit message that a sexual relationship was a condition of promotion to a full-time position” the Complaint reads. Ms. Montalvo alleges she was “forced to resign in February 2017 because of sexual harassment by the Recorder, Defendant Michael B. Brown.”
“The sexual advances quickly led to sexual encounters both in the Recorder’s Office and at Brown’s residences” according to the Complaint. Ms Montalvo alleges the relationship continued “only because she believed it was a condition of promotion to full-time employment. Eventually, Brown hired a full-time Chief Deputy, with whom he had a prior sexual relationship. Ms. Montalvo also alleges that other employees in the Recorder’s Office were subjected to repeated sexual harassment. “. . . she and other female employees were subjected to a hostile work environment by the Defendant, Michael B. Brown, insofar as he used his position in the office to demand sexual favors and activity as a condition of employment and advancement.”
Michael B. Brown was unavailable for comment. In fact, sources close to the investigation say that Michael B. Brown was escorted from the office months ago and has not been seen since. He has deleted his Facebook account. Sources also allege that Brown had sexual encounters with several other county employees from other offices who were on the clock.
Roy Dominguez is representing Ms. Montalvo. Roy Dominguez was Mike Brown’s mentor and also the father of Mike Brown’s ex fiance according to sources.
Allegations in a civil complaint are merely accusations, however, if a judgment is obtained it will be taxpayers who are on the hook once again.
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Copyright 2017 The Northwest Indiana Gazette