"...as if she was part of Singh’s harem..."

A lawsuit alleges that Rick Sing, a Floridian Democrat elected twice to Orange County's Property Appraiser's office, has abused his post to benefit friends, bragged about exploiting tax-payer money, and exhibited vulgar chauvenism and racism.


The lawsuit, filed last month by two of the agency's former female directors, levels against ​Singh a 40-page litany of both personal and professional misconduct.


​According to the Orlando SentinelSingh allegedly exploited his position to ​manipulate property values in order to offer lower prices to friends and ​political contributors and to cause ​distress to enemies. He also allegedly spent over 10,000 dollars traveling to spurious events, which he would then require the plaintiffs to "justify" by falsifying records and "[making] up something." 


When running for re-election in 2016, he allegedly arrogated office resources and budget to bolster his campaign.


But the lawsuit claims that Singh's truly obnoxious nature was revealed in his treatment of subordinates.


One of the plaintiffs, Singh's former finance director Aisha Hassan, claims that he used to harass her with text messages in the middle of the night, asking her to carry out personal tasks and even making overtures that she felt "constituted thinly veiled propositions to engage in a sexual relationship,” according to the complaint filed through a lawyer.


According to the lawsuit, Singh would also mistreat co-plaintiff Laverne McGee, a local TV star and Singh's former communications director, by introducing her to male friends "as if she was part of Singh’s harem along with other females.“


Additionally, Singh is accused of forcing McGee to make come up with excuses to his wife whenever he would invite escorts to the office. Once Singh allegedly asked McGee to pose for an Instagram post as a "hot black chick."


More broadly, the lawsuit accuses Singh of creating a ​hostile working environment by casually referring to women as "whores," "bitches," and "skanks," and even tossing around the n-word.

Singh, whose ​social media accounts ​proclaim ​support of ​women's dignity (and on occasion touted the #WomenSucceed hashtag), denies all accusations. “It’s a shakedown by two employees who essentially tried to extort money from me,” he told the Sentinel on Thursday. “They have not a shred of evidence.” 


Singh's spokesperson called the lawsuit baseless and pointed to a 10-month-long in-house inquiry which concluded in May and that disputed Hassan and McGee's accusations.


A month before said inquiry reached termination, Singh tweeted a poster from his office celebrating Women's History Month.


"During #WomensHistoryMonth, our office will highlight women within our agency to celebrate who they are," the March 9 post reads.


Adaam James is Pluralist's co-founder and senior editor.

Cover photo: Rick Singh, Twitter.