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New Mexico’s Sexual Harassment Scandal Widens

Another alleged victim of the New Mexico union boss who stands accused of sexual harassment and discrimination has come forward as the Democratic party chair resigns.

John Hendry of the New Mexico AFL-CIO. Source: NM AFL-CIO

The plethora of union bosses accused of sexual harassment continues to grow.

In New Mexico, Jon Hendry, a business agent for IATSE, Local 480 was ousted as president od the state AFL-CIO earlier this week now faces additional sexual harassment accusations from another IATSE employee that he “subjected her to ‘discriminatory conditions, including an explicit quid pro quo for sex.'”

His ouster earlier this week stems from a lawsuit filed against Hendry alleging he engaged in sexual harassment, including the grabbing the plaintiff and other female employees “by the buttocks” and other egregious behavior, according to the website Deadline.com.

…In a lawsuit filed Tuesday in Santa Fe, Christa Valdez claims that Jon Hendry, business agent of IATSE Local 480, sent her a text in 2016 that said: “Could you send me a pic of your naked, sweaty, skinny body? At least one of us will feel much better.”

“Hendry continually harassed and intimidated Ms. Valdez with sexual propositions and inappropriate conditions to maintain employment,” according to the suit, which also names Local 480 as a defendant (read it here). “The work environment was hostile, harassing, and discriminatory, through Hendry’s continual and continuing quid pro quo and unprofessional conduct toward Ms. Valdez.” According to the suit, that included Hendry “grabbing Ms. Valdez and other IATSE Local 480 employees’ buttocks” and “showing Ms. Valdez and other IATSE Local 480 employees and members naked photos on his phone.”

“Jon Hendry is no longer in the position of NM State Fed President, and the AFL-CIO does not have jurisdiction over internal local union investigations,” AFL-CIO spokesperson Michelle Blau told Deadline in an email to Deadline.com. “Hope that clarifies your request. I have passed your contact information onto IATSE.”

In related news, Richard Ellenberg, the chairman of the Democratic Party of New Mexico, resigned on Tuesday over his handling of the accusations against union boss Hendry and, as well, accusations against former Doña Ana County Commissioner John Vasquez.

Ellenberg announced his resignation with a letter to the party’s state central committee.

“I regret the way in which I have managed complaints of survivors who have come forward about sexual harassment, and take full responsibility to continue to learn and grow so that I can be an advocate and ally in the future,” Ellenberg wrote.

Although the accusations against Hendry are separate from the accusations against Vasquez, Democratic Party chair Ellenberg questioned one of the victim’s credibility in the Hendry case, according to one report, causing party officials and candidates to call for his resignation.

More…

IATSE New Mexico Boss Facing New Harassment Allegations; 2nd Woman Comes Forward

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