WASHINGTON (CN) – A career American diplomat claims in court that the State Department failed to defendant and exonerate him after staffers unhappy under his leadership accused him of abusing his power and entertaining prostitutes at an American Consulate in Italy.
In a lawsuit filed in Washington on July 28 , DC, Donald Moore says this alleged failure to act on his behalf is emblematic of a “racist culture” within the department.
Moore, a diplomat since 1992, served as consul general of the embassy in Naples, Italy in 2010.
While there, he says, he learned that “Low-Performing Employees engaged in significant misconduct in the Consulate work place, including sexual harassment, aggressive behavior towards colleagues, harassing a management officer, inciting arguments, making false allegations, poor team building, and overall poor representation of the State Department.”
He says he attempted to counsel the employees but in response, the employees “embarked on relentless, racially motivated attacks against Mr. Moore in an attempt to protect their positions with the State Department.”
“These attacks lasted years, and will likely continue absent responsible leadership action from the State Department. Despite the numerous and false allegations lodged against him by the Low-Performing Employees, Mr. Moore has never been proposed for discipline as a consequences [sic] of their baseless charges” the complaint says.
This includes four Equal Employment Opportunity complaints against Moore, as well as a “wide array” of misconduct allegations, including “entertaining prostitutes in his official residence, abuse of power, retaliation, inappropriate relationships with staff, violent acts, and mental instability. Such abuse of the EEO process is legendary within the State Department.”
In early 2013, the Bureau of Diplomatic Security investigated and found the accusations without merit, the complaint states.
“Mr. Moore asked the leadership in Italy for their public support; however, as a black, single male posted in Europe, he was treated as if he were radioactive.,” the complaint says. “Not only did they shirk their responsibility to provide leadership and support Mr. Moore, James Herman, Executive Director of Consular Affairs, expressed doubts as to Mr. Moore’s innocence.”
Moore says while all this was going on, he tried to obtain another assignment, but “No mission would touch him due to the false rumors the State Department refused to publicly refute.”
Moore says when one employee filed a lawsuit against him and the State Department, the department settled the case, despite knowing it was frivolous and without informing him of its intentions.
“This settlement, to the public, all but admitted the misconduct of Mr. Moore and was the kiss of death to his reputation,” the complaint says
Moore is seeking declaratory relief, compensatory damages, an order directing the department to take steps to “overcome the effects of discrimination,” back pay and payment of his legal fees.
He is represented by J. Michael Hannon of the Hannon Law Group in Washington DC.
A spokeswoman for the State Department said it does not comment on ongoing litigation.