Directors of an influential Latino business organization met on Sunday to discuss allegations that their chief executive had engaged in sexual harassment and financial impropriety, according to people close to the board.
At the meeting, the board of the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, a nonprofit group that promotes the interests of Latino businesses, reviewed allegations that its chief executive, Javier Palomarez, sexually harassed an employee and improperly padded his pay, said two people close to the board who were not authorized to speak publicly. The board said on Friday that it had hired an outside law firm to investigate ‘various allegations,’ but did not offer details or specify who was the subject of the claims.
Mr. Palomarez has disputed the accusations.
“I categorically deny these deeply troubling allegations, and I will fully cooperate with any investigation into them,” he said in a statement issued late Friday.
By Sunday evening, it was not clear whether the meeting had ended or what the outcome might be.
Mr. Palomarez said in his statement that the financial allegations were part of a “retaliatory effort” by a different woman, a former superior, with whom he said he had an intimate relationship. In court papers filed in Texas, he identified that woman as Nina Vaca, a former chairwoman of the chamber who runs the Pinnacle Group, a technology services firm based in Dallas, and had remained on the board of both the chamber….
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