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Former Maria Sachs aide sues for discrimination, retaliation

in Statewide/Top Headlines by

An aide to then-Florida state Sen. Maria Lorts Sachs has sued his former employer, saying she “exposed (him) to unwelcome sexual conduct” by frequently undressing in front of him.

Matthew Damsky sued the Florida Senate in Leon County Circuit Civil court this week on gender discrimination and retaliation charges. The 68-year-old Sachs, elected to the Senate in 2010, declined to run for re-election this year.

The Palm Beach County Democrat was known for her frequent wardrobe changes, particularly on long days of the legislative session.

The case, reported by the Tallahassee Democrat on Thursday, says the 28-year-old Damsky was fired this February when he objected to Sachs’s demands of doing her “grocery shopping, walking her dog, maintaining her relatives’ homes, and traveling cross country to assist” them.

He says he also was “ordered” to perform work for her legal practice on Senate time, including “drafting legal pleadings.”

Damsky seeks “all legally-available general and compensatory damages and economic loss,” his suit says.

“The Senate has not yet been served, so the Senate attorneys have not yet received a copy of, or had the opportunity to review the complaint,” spokeswoman Katie Betta said Thursday.

Sachs previously has denied the accusations. She said Damsky, of Boca Raton, resigned after admitting to charging nearly $50,000 in plane tickets on Sachs’ credit card without her knowledge, among other things.

Damsky is represented by Marie Mattox, a longtime employment discrimination attorney in Tallahassee.

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Before joining Florida Politics, journalist and attorney James Rosica was state government reporter for The Tampa Tribune. He attended journalism school in Washington, D.C., working at dailies and weekly papers in Philadelphia after graduation. Rosica joined the Tallahassee Democrat in 1997, later moving to the courts beat, where he reported on the 2000 presidential recount. In 2005, Rosica left journalism to attend law school in Philadelphia, afterwards working part time for a public-interest law firm. Returning to writing, he covered three legislative sessions in Tallahassee for The Associated Press, before joining the Tribune’s re-opened Tallahassee bureau in 2013. He can be reached at jim@floridapolitics.com.

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