Marcos Martinez, the head of immigrant workers rights organization Casa Latina for the last five years, will not return from administrative leave following a controversy that erupted earlier this summer over how he and other top leaders handled sexual misconduct allegations.

The organization, founded in 1994, dispatches day laborers and domestic workers to households across Seattle; it recently hired nonprofit veteran Guadalupe Torres to serve as acting executive director.

“We are taking this time to reimagine the future for Casa Latina to ensure that our work to champion worker rights externally is modeled in our internal practices and culture,” said board President Pilar Pacheco in a mass email Wednesday.

A consultant’s examination of Casa Latina’s internal investigation into a staffer’s allegations of sexual misconduct against another staffer, involving behavior ranging from sexual comments to groping, found it was “timely, impartial and complete” but that appropriate action was not immediately taken.

The accused staffer should have been fired right away, according to the consultant’s findings. Instead, Casa Latina suspended him for two weeks, then fired him after two other women came forward to accuse him of harassment.

Martinez said he was blindsided by Pacheco’s announcement, which came as he was discussing his departure with the board.

Advertising

“I feel I’m really being scapegoated,” he said. The announcement “really gives the impression that this sexual harassment investigation was entirely conducted by staff and things went wrong and suddenly the board intervened.”

“In fact, the board was involved in the handling of the case all the way through,” he said.

Pacheco declined to comment.

In an earlier version of this story, Marcos Martinez’s name was misspelled.