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Former Walsh aide Felix Arroyo sues over the way he was terminated

Felix Arroyo, who served as Mayor Walsh's chief of health and human services, is now suing Walsh and the city for his termination in 2017 over sexual-harrassment allegations he says are completely false.

In a lawsuit filed Friday in Suffolk Superior Court, Arroyo, who served two terms as an at-large city councilor before running for mayor in 2013, says Walsh and his administration denied him of his due-process rights by not letting him or his lawyer access City Hall workers and records in a "sham" investigation that ruined his professional and personal life.

At issue is a complaint by Hilani Morales alleging that Arroyo sexually harassed her. Arroyo was placed on paid, administrative leave on July 27, 2017, then, three weeks later, he says, he was given the choice of resigning or being fired, first by city attorney Eugene O'Flaherty, then by Walsh himself. The day after that, Aug. 24, he was terminated.

Morales has her own Suffolk Superior suit against the city, alleging officials harassed and demoted her after she complained about Arroyo. She filed her suit after dropping her request for action by the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination.

Arroyo says that, among other things, he provided a lawyer hired by the city to investigate the allegations the names of 25 City Hall employees, many of them women, who would have refuted what he charges are Morales's contradictory statements about whatever it is Arroyo allegedly did.

He quotes a column by Joan Vennochi in the Globe about an allegation that Arroyo grabbed Morales by the throat - disputed in an affidavit by a City Hall worker whose desk let him look into Arroyo's office and who swore Arroyo never got from out behind his desk during a meeting with the woman, let alone grabbed her by the throat.

Arroyo, who was one of several 2013 mayoral candidates that Walsh brought into his administration after his election that year, is seeking back wages plus compensatory and punitive damages. Arroyo is the son of former City Councilor and current Suffolk County Probate Register Felix Arroyo and brother of current Councilor Ricardo Arroyo.

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Comments

Should be replaced with the reality show Boston City Hall.

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Voting closed 29

Must be hard to adjust to civilian life after feeding at the public trough for so long. Do you think he and Suffolk County Probate Register Felix Arroyo and current Councilor Ricardo Arroyo get together at Christmas and compare their pension plans?

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Ricardo seems more interested in helping his constituents than the other two but he's just getting started at this.

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Felix Jr does not seem to understand the concept of discovery in litigation. He should be very careful what he’s wishing for here by re-opening this issue. And maybe I’m wrong but I thought a Cabinet official serves at the pleasure of any Mayor and can be let go for any reason.

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Voting closed 19

... investigating this and decided to just get rid of the problem by forcing both parties out. We are left with suppositions and our own prejudices.

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It also looks like Arroyo procrastinated filing his lawsuit. Was there a three year limit on his claim?

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Councilors Wu, Campbell, Bok, Edwards, Janey, Mejia and Essaibi-George. Do you believe Ms. Morales?

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For any reason, or no reason?

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I thought that in Mass, absent a contract or union agreement, that we were all employees-at-will (ie subject to dismissal for any or no reason.)

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Voting closed 8