TALLAHASSEE, Fla.–Florida’s state banking regulator has been suspended after being accused of “inappropriate and uncomfortable” behavior just weeks after taking the job.
Ronald Rubin, commissioner of the Office of Financial Regulation, has been put on paid leave while an inspector general investigates the accusation. According to the Miami Herald, Rubin was not available for comment.
Florida’s chief financial officer, Jimmy Patronis, released a statement announcing Rubin’s suspension, as well as a redacted filed by one of the employees working in Rubin’s agency.
The employee, whose name and title were redacted, described behavior by Rubin that forced the employee to hide and take time off to avoid seeing the commissioner, the Herald reported.
‘Stop By Condo’
“On the way to lunch with Rubin one day in April, the commissioner suggested the two stop by his downtown Tallahassee condominium ‘so that he could show me the renovations that had been done,’” the complaint reads, according to the Herald. “Rubin asked the employee to remove their shoes, and the employee described it as an ‘uncomfortable situation.’ While at lunch, Rubin mentioned his parents’ sex life. On the way back from lunch, Rubin again wanted to stop by his condo to talk to people who were painting it.
“The next day, Rubin asked the employee to go with him to a conference in Washington,” the Herald continued. “When the employee declined, he offered a key to his D.C. apartment whenever the employee wanted to visit the city. The behavior prompted the employee to ask for another position within the agency. And in other instances, the employee hid in an office and declined to hang out with coworkers out of fear of running into Rubin, according to the complaint.”
According to the complaint filed by the state employees, “I feel like my opportunities to get to know my coworkers and people in this agency have been hindered by inappropriate and uncomfortable circumstances,” the employee wrote. “Considering I am new to the agency, it has made my transition here much more difficult than I feel it should be or would be otherwise.”
Right to Feel Safe
“Every person deserves to feel safe and respected in their work environment,” CFO Patronis said in a statement. “That standard is non-negotiable.”
Rubin, a former special counsel in the Division of Enforcement at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, was named to the position in February.