The former head of the Philadelphia Housing Authority is suing the city for $4 million after he was fired for several sexual harassment incidents which he concealed from his supervisors. Carl R. Greene was sacked by the PHA Board of Directors after they discovered his history of sexual harassment incidents while on the job.
Greene’s lawyer Clifford E. Haines sent the demand letter this week saying let’s “get this settled before there’s more blood on the floor.” Asked in an e-mail to comment about Greene’s demand, PHA Board Chairman John F. Street had one response: He wrote, “Ha Ha!” – 64 times in an e-mail.
Haines claimed that the PHA was unjustified in firing Greene and called his employment contract the “tightest employment contract I’ve ever seen.” Greene was hired by the housing authority in 1998 and had his contract renewed in 2007.
In August, the PHA learned that three sexual harassment cases against Greene had been secretly settled for $648,000 and a fourth case was pending. The board was never informed of the harassment charges or the settlements by Greene or other city officials. The information came to light recently when he was accused by another woman of harassment and put on administrative leave.
After hearing of Greene’s recent demands, the reaction was one of disbelief. “Are they delusional?” asked John Elliott, an attorney representing Elizabeth Helm in the current lawsuit. Helm, a former PHA interior designer, alleges that Greene made sexual advances during a business dinner. “It’s mind-boggling, the audacity of that serial sexual harasser,” Elliott said.
Greene filed a federal lawsuit against the board in September claiming that the PHA had violated his due process rights and breached his employment contract. He denied the sexual harassment claims against him, including those that had already been settled.