November 15, 2018

Report: Ex-Deloitte Bermuda Staffer Accuses U.S. Partner of Sexual Assault

The Australian Financial Review reported on July 3 that a woman who used to work in Deloitte’s Bermuda office has accused a male senior partner from the Big 4 firm’s New York office of sexual assault in a Bermuda hotel room in August 2015.

The woman, who did not want to be identified in the article, also has accused Deloitte of covering up the alleged incident, adding that she was “treated as a threat to the firm and pushed out, while the partner was protected.”

The article states that the Bermuda Police Service looked into the alleged sexual assault and concluded there was enough evidence to question the senior partner when he made his next regular visit to the country.

But has the Deloitte senior partner visited Bermuda since the police investigation started? Nope.

The article did not reveal the name of the senior partner, who is still employed by Deloitte, and he has not been charged with a crime. The senior partner, who is in his 40s, was not disciplined by the firm, according to the Australian Financial Review article.

According to an article by the Royal Gazette newspaper in Bermuda, a police spokesperson said, “The suspect resides in another jurisdiction and there are currently insufficient grounds to satisfy an extradition request—as such, the matter is held in abeyance.”

The alleged sexual assault happened in the same year as another purported assault involving two EY partners. Jessica Casucci claimed that John Martinkat, a partner in EY’s tax division, groped and sexually harassed her during a 2015 business trip. The alleged incident happened in an Orlando, Fla., hotel in front of two other partners, who did nothing to stop it or report Martinkat to the firm.

Casucci filed a sexual harassment complaint against EY with the Equal Employment Opportunity Council. EY settled with Casucci in early May, and as part of the settlement, she agreed to leave the firm. Martinkat was eventually fired.

In the alleged Bermuda incident, the Deloitte senior partner invited both U.S. and Bermuda staff to the hotel he was staying at for after-work drinks on Aug. 20, 2015. According to the Australian Financial Review:

A small group, including the New York partner and the woman, remained at the bar into the early hours of Friday [Aug. 21]. The woman recalled having around four glasses of wine but not feeling drunk as the conversation ranged into their sex lives and became more explicit.

“[The New York partner] was bragging that he slept with a lot of women at Deloitte,” she told police.

The evening ended at about 2am with the man insisting that she come up to his room on a pretext linked to her work at the firm. Thinking that another male staff member from the US was also going, she agreed. But when she got to the room, the other staffer was not there.

The woman told police the partner blocked the door and attacked her after they entered the hotel room.

The woman told the Australian Financial Review that she was unable to work effectively after the alleged assault and was “eventually made redundant” by Deloitte. The publication noted that it has spoken to four people who worked with the woman during her time at Deloitte, and they are aware of the alleged attack and believe her story is credible. They confirmed that after the alleged incident, the woman’s demeanor changed from “an extroverted and bright individual into someone very quiet and introspective.”

The woman said it took her weeks to reveal the details of the alleged attack to senior staff in the Bermuda office, believing that “reporting a partner to Deloitte would be career suicide,” the article said.

The woman told the Australian Financial Review that the New York partner visited the Bermuda office three months after the alleged attack in November 2015, and that prompted her to report the allegation to police.

In an email to Going Concern, Deloitte spokesperson Jonathan Gandal said the article misrepresents our organization’s values and our actions by citing inaccurate information, making erroneous assumptions, and assigning improper intent.

The firm issued the following statement:

“Deloitte is deeply committed to an inclusive, respectful and ethical workplace. Upon learning of the initial allegations made by this Deloitte Bermuda employee in 2015, Deloitte Bermuda encouraged the employee to participate in an investigation, which she repeatedly declined to do. Deloitte US promptly engaged an outside law firm to conduct an independent investigation, including interviewing witnesses, and could not corroborate any of the allegations. Subsequent assertions regarding the handling of this matter are simply not consistent with the facts.

“We encourage reporting concerns of inappropriate and unethical behavior including harassment, and we investigate any such complaints and take serious actions when policies are violated. This matter is the subject of a legal proceeding in Bermuda, and as such we cannot discuss it in greater detail. That will have to be reserved for the proper legal setting.”

The woman told the Australian Financial Review that she refused to cooperate with Deloitte’s internal investigation until the police investigation was completed. But despite promises that she would be interviewed as part of the Deloitte investigation, the woman said the external counsel looking into the matter never contacted her.

[AFR] [Royal Gazette]

Image: iStock/Poulssen

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