Complaint filed against Lantana mayor dismissed

Complaint filed against Lantana mayor dismissed

One of the sexual harassment complaints filed against Lantana Mayor Dave Stewart has been dropped.

Back in February, WPTV first reported about the allegations against Mayor Stewart.

Catherine Padillia filed two complaints with the Florida Commission on Ethics. The first complaint filed in January alleged that Mayor Stewart asked her for sex in exchange for a political favor.

But the second complaint came in March. In it she wrote she overheard the Mayor making an inappropriate comment to another city leader.

"I feel like he thought I was an easy mark," she told WPTV back in February.

She claims Mayor Stewart sexually harassed her.

"He pulled into this motel and got out of his van and I just kept motioning no I'm not interested, hello come back," she recalled.

She wrote about that encounter to the Florida Commission on Ethics. Padillia also wrote Mayor Stewart said if she would agree to have sex with him he would make sure to get the speed bumps she wanted in her neighborhood.

WPTV spoke with Padillia, Thursday. She said her initial complaint is still being investigated.

"With them thoroughly investigating it instead of dismissing it right away that does say a lot it speaks volumes," she said.

But her second complaint, that came two months later, was dismissed by the Commission on Ethics.

In it, Padilla wrote that while at a banquet she overheard Mayor Stewart using a sexual innuendo in a conversation with Lantana Town Manager Debbie Manzo. The ethics commission voted to dismiss this complaint citing lack of legal sufficiency.

We reached out to Manzo, who told us she is out of town dealing with a death in the family. She went on to say that this is her first time hearing about that complaint. She said she didn't want to comment further until she could collect her thoughts about that night.

Mayor Stewart declined an interview and said it would be inappropriate for him to comment until he's received notification from the state.

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