Denise Appleby Horland is trying to unmask the whistleblower who revealed a City of Plantation Human Resources Department investigation of Councilman Nick Sortal, records show. On June 13, 2022 REDBROWARD revealed a longtime female City employee accused Sortal of making inappropriate sexual and racial comments to her while he was conducting official business inside City Hall. An official memorandum showed Sortal admitted to making remarks about his erect penis as well as expressing satisfaction that “Plantation will never have a black mayor.”
Despite the admission, a labor attorney told City leaders they were powerless to hold Sortal accountable for his behavior. Not long after being told Sortal would face no punishment, the longtime employee left her position. Nick Sortal is currently running against popular incumbent Mayor Lynn Stoner
After the news broke about Nick Sortal’s inappropriate comments, Denise Horland remained silent. During last Wednesday’s City Council meeting, Nick Sortal admitted, for the third time, to making the remarks. Even though he told the Sun-Sentinel that reports of racial remarks were a “lie,” Sortal said his racial remarks about a black mayor were just a “tone deaf” attempt at sarcasm. Instead of a lie, Sortal told residents it was a joke.
Denise Horland remained silent.
Instead of being angry over the treatment of a female employee or the lack accountability of a sitting elected official, Plantation Councilwoman Denise Horland wants to know who made Nick Sortal’s dirty laundry public.
Two days after Nick Sortal made his third admission to making the inappropriate sexual and racial comments, Denise Horland filed a public records request with the City of Plantation clerk.
Horland wrote, “I would like to know the name of any person’s who either requested or were sent a copy of the file memorandum which details what transpired between Councilmember Sortal and Ms. [REDACTED].”
“I would also like to know the dates of the requests received and the dates the memo was shared/sent,” Horland wrote.
Horland knows the facts of the investigation. She was sitting next to Nick Sortal Wednesday night when he admitted everything to the public.
So why does Denise Horland wants names and dates of who let the public know about this injustice?
REDBROWARD asked Denise Horland. She did not respond to our request for comment.
Normally, politicians want to know who leaked embarrassing information so they can “plug the hole” or intimidate other whistleblowers from going public.
Since our story broke, prominent Sortal supporters on social media have sought out the identities of the whistleblowers.
Why is Denise Horland sticking her neck out for Nick Sortal?
Is she showing loyalty to a fellow Democrat?
Are their shared donors and campaign advisers urging Denise Horland to defend Nick Sortal?
Doesn’t Denise Horland owe a duty to City employees to defend them from attacks and inappropriate comments by City leaders?
Is this duty overshadowed by politics?
Denise Horland is on the ballot this November.
City of Plantation voters deserve answers, no?
Recent news that two of Broward’s elected leaders made inappropriate sexual and/or bigoted remarks while conducting official business inside City Hall was met with silence from the other lawmakers, Democratic Party officials and even the legacy media. On June 9, 2022, REDBROWARD reported how Tamarac Vice Mayor Elberg Mike Gelin directed two bigoted remarks at fellow Commissioner Elvin Villalobos. One week later, REDBROWARD revealed a Human Resources investigation showed Plantation Councilman Nick Sortal made inappropriate sexual and racial remarks to a longtime city employee.
Both men are on the November ballot in races against incumbent female mayors. Both men, and their opponents, are Democrats. As of today, the Sun-Sentinel wrote about the Sortal investigation. Nothing about Gelin’s anti-Hispanic remarks to Villalobos. Nothing else. No angry statements from lawmakers representing Tamarac and Plantation on the State and local levels. No rebukes from Democrat Party leaders or activists.
Mike Gelin is running against Mayor Michelle Gomez. During a Tamarac Commission meeting, Gelin claimed Villalobos thought “Latin American rules” applied in Florida.
“This is America. We have freedom of speech,” Gelin lectured. “That should be explained to the Commissioner who may still think that Latin American rules apply in America. And it doesn’t.”
“Excuse me? Excuse me? What do you mean that it doesn’t apply to Latin America, Vice Mayor?” Villalobos asked.
Later, Gelin stated the City Attorney needed to better educate Commissioners, “Who may not understand how this country is governed.”
While filing his paperwork to run against Plantation Mayor Lynn Stoner, Nick Sortal told a black female deputy clerk that “My dick is hard” for a battle with Stoner. Then, after learning there were no black candidates for Mayor, Sortal said, “Oh good, Plantation will never have a black mayor.”
Even though he admitted to making the comments, Nick Sortal spent a week trying to smear anyone reporting the facts. Despite being a former reporter, Sortal urged his supporters to attack the Sun-Sentinel story by Lisa Huriash. Now, Sortal and his allies want to track down the source of the story even though he made a third admission at last Wednesday’s council meeting.
Inappropriate sexual remarks. Bigoted remarks against Hispanics. Bigoted remarks against Blacks. Smear and pressure campaigns against the media.
Yet, crickets from the legacy media and party leaders.
This is not “dirty politics” as Sortal claims. This is no ginned up Republican plot.
These two Democrat men are running against two Democrat women.
These two men made bigoted remarks within their City Halls while conducting official business.
Is there no accountability?
Voters in Tamarac and Plantation have noticed.
Are Democrat Party leaders and media types so out of touch with their local constituents that they think it’s ok to ignore this unacceptable behavior from grown men?
Are Democrat leaders and local media so distracted by Governor Ron DeSantis and national politics that they would allow elected officials to spew sexual and racial comments to females and minorities without consequence?
Shame on them.