Report: Harrassment Charges Led To Piolin's Univision Exit
July 30, 2013 at 2:00 PM (PT)
It seems that the other shoe has dropped in last week's surprising departure of UNIVISION RADIO syndicated morning man EDDIE "PIOLIN" SOTELO (NET NEWS, 7/22). The L.A. TIMES reports that another member of his show has accused him of sexual harassment.
ALBERTO "BETO" CORTEZ, a writer, producer and performer on the show, alleged that SOTELO "physically, sexually and emotionally" harassed him over a three-year period ending last JANUARY. He made those charges in an APRIL 16th letter from CORTEZ attorney ROBERT R. CLAYTON to UNIVISION executives ROBERTO LLAMAS and JOSE VALLE. Furthermore, CORTEZ claimed that SOTELO ordered members of his radio production team to falsify letters in support of a high-profile campaign for congressional immigration reform, an issue that SOTELO championed on his program.
The TIMES quotes documents alleging that SOTELO "repeatedly made aggressive and unwanted sexual advances, including grabbing CORTEZ's buttocks and genitals when CORTEZ would arrive at work in the morning at the studio ... SOTELO taunted him during staff meetings, calling him by a derogatory term for a homosexual, and telling him to say that he was gay. SOTELO also asked vulgar questions about CORTEZ's girlfriend."
"I have also spoken to former employees of the show who witnessed much of the harassment described herein," CLAYTON wrote in his APRIL 16th letter to the UNIVISION executives. "They too have either been subjected to or heard of SOTELO's misconduct, threats, and the retaliation he has taken against employees who have spoken out against him." He suggested that UNIVISION settle with his client, or else he would file a lawsuit "and the matter would become public."
CLAYTON's letter continued: "Because SOTELO was the cash-cow ... UNIVISION turned a blind eye to SOTELO's inappropriate and unlawful conduct. In doing so, Univision violated the company's own written employment policies."
Denying those charges was SOTELO attorney JEFFREY SPITZ, who described CORTEZ in a statement as "A disgruntled, troubled employee [who] has made malicious and false claims about EDDIE SOTELO ... This was done as part of a demand for money.... The employee worked with EDDIE for more than a decade. The employee's allegations of harassment and falsification of immigration letters are pure fiction intended to gain a financial settlement."
Neither CORTEZ, SOTELO or UNIVISION executives would comment on the revelations.