Sources say that a dozen or so campaign staffers who had worked on Democrat Marc Panepinto’s State Senate campaign during the primary phase haven’t been paid for their work.
The former campaign workers say that Panepinto had represented to them that they would be compensated for their work, but they endured payroll irregularities from the beginning.
“It’s like he was trying to dupe us into working for him for free,” said one former employee who is considering taking legal action. “This guy is a union organizer who claims to be fighting for a higher minimum wage, and he can’t even afford to pay us minimum wage and make weekly payroll.”
“He’s obviously unfit for public office,” the former employee concludes.
The statewide teachers’ group, NYSUT, has been dumping money into Panepinto’s senate contest, including $300,000 in attack ads against incumbent Mark Grisanti, so it’s peculiar that Panepinto would withhold pay for his staffers.
I’m told that there were instances of sexual harassment on the part of Panepinto, including requests for dates, inappropriate jokes, and a sexually tense office manner.
In public, Panepinto claims to support the so-called “Women’s Equality Agenda” currently being promoted by the Governor. That agenda would strengthen workplace protections against sexual harassment.
“The sexual tension in that office was ridiculous,” said one former male staffer. “A lot of big horny Italians –and not big in a good way. I can see how the young ladies felt uncomfortable.”