Plantation City Councilman Nick Sortal made highly inappropriate sexual and racist remarks by to a city employee sparking a Human Resources investigation, records show. REDBROWARD obtained a memorandum detailing the City’s investigation into Sortal’s remarks following a complaint filed by a high-level City of Plantation employee. While REDBROWARD knows the name of the employee, we are not naming her at this time.
The memorandum bears the signature of City Of Plantation Human Resources Director Denese Edsall, Ph. D.
According to the memorandum, the incident occurred last month when Nick Sortal filed paperwork to run for Mayor. Sortal, accompanied by his wife, told the employee about their “scuffle” with popular incumbent Mayor Lynn Stoner. Sortal said he exchanged words with Stoner regarding his decision to challenge her. Sortal said his wife, Robyn Sortal, also exchanged words with Mayor Stoner.
Then, Councilman Nick Sortal told the female employee, “My dick is hard for this!”
Shocked by Sortal’s graphic comment, the female employee said he covered her face.
Sortal then asked her if anyone else filed paperwork to run for mayor. She told him yes.
Sortal asked if the person was black. The employee, a person of color, said no.
Sortal said, “Oh good, Plantation will never have a black mayor.”
The female employee would later file a complaint with the City of Plantation Human Resources Department.
NOTHING CITY COULD LEGALLY DO
According to the memorandum obtained by REDBROWARD, City of Plantation officials met on May 23, 2022 to discuss the “protocol for handling the complaint” against Nick Sortal. Chief Administrative Officer Jason Nunemaker and Human Resources Director Denese Edsall conducted a telephone conference call with labor attorney Denise Heekin. City leaders wanted to determine the City’s responsibility and how to handle the matter.
According to the labor attorney, since Nick Sortal is an elected official, the City could not level any sanctions against him. She advised Nunemaker to speak with Sortal about the inappropriate nature of the comments and the fact that a complaint was made against him. Heekin said there was nothing else Plantation could legally do to Sortal.
SORTAL FELT “COMFORTABLE”
According to the memorandum, CAO Jason Nunemaker discussed the matter with Nick Sortal on May 24, 2022. The memo states, “Mr. Nunemaker spoke to Councilman Sortal who admitted to the comments.” Sortal said he, “did not realize they were taken as inappropriate as he has been speaking to [the employee] for four years and felt comfortable.” Sortal told Nunemaker he “would be more careful in the future.”
On May 25, 2022 another discussion was held with labor attorney Denise Heekin. She advised leaders to document the actions taken and to “document to a separate complaint file the actions taken.” Heekin advised leaders to discuss the actions with the female employee.
Later that day, a city official spoke with the female employee. The official told her that Nunemaker spoke with Sortal. Sortal promised to be more careful. The employee asked if she was required to deal with Sortal in the future. The City official said no.
The employee stated she understood what the City had done to address the matter. The City of Plantation official told her “If anything else happened she should let me know immediately.”
Last Friday, Councilman Nick Sortal sent a floral arrangement to the employee at her City Hall office.
REDBROWARD contacted Nick Sortal for comment on this matter.
We wanted to know why Nick Sortal felt “comfortable” talking about the state of his penis with a woman not his wife.
We wanted to know if Nick Sortal regularly discusses the state of his penis with other City of Plantation employees.
We wanted to know why arguing with a female colleague made his penis “hard.”
We wanted to ask Nick Sortal why he asked about the race of potential opponents.
We wanted to ask Nick Sortal why he said “Oh Good” when told the opponent was not black.
We wanted Nick Sortal to tell us why there will never be a black mayor in Plantation.
We wanted to know why Nick Sortal sent flowers to an employee who filed an HR complaint against him?
Nick Sortal did not respond to our request for comment.
Nick Sortal has a history of unprofessional and inappropriate behavior at City Hall. And he wants to be the next Mayor of Plantation?