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Maria Sachs

Maria Sachs accuser seeks to drop harassment case

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An ex-aide to former state Sen. Maria Lorts Sachs has asked a federal court to drop his sexual harassment case against the Florida Senate. Matthew Damsky’s attorney filed a motion to dismiss Tuesday, asking that each side pay for its own attorneys’ fees and costs. The Senate was named as the defendant because it was Damsky’s official employer. The Senate’s outside counsel, Lisa Fountain of the Sniffen & Spellman firm, told attorney Marie Mattox that the chamber would “consent” to…

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Senate demands information in harassment lawsuit against Maria Sachs

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A federal judge has given an ex-aide to former state Sen. Maria Lorts Sachs till next Tuesday to explain why he shouldn’t provide information in his still-pending sexual harassment case. Matthew Damsky, then 28, had sued the Florida Senate in Leon County Circuit Civil court last year on gender discrimination and retaliation charges. The 68-year-old Sachs, first elected to the Senate in 2010, declined to run for re-election last year.

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Jeff Clemens bullish on Senate Democrats chances in 2018

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Although Florida Democrats failed to improve their numbers in the state Senate in 2016, Jeff Clemens is very optimistic that in two years their power will increase. “It just so happens that the way it plays out, the Democrats that are up for election in 2018 are in safe Democratic seats, so with the Republicans having to go defend as many as eight seats, there are opportunities,” the Lake Worth Democrat said Thursday night in St. Petersburg. “Whether it’s the two seats in Pinellas,…

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Personnel note: Maria Sachs to lead Innovation Florida

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Former state Sen. Maria Lorts Sachs will be the next executive director of Innovation Florida, the new not-for-profit incubator for startup technology companies. The organization announced the hire Wednesday in a press release. “I am excited to be a part of a new initiative that will link venture capital and multinational corporations to research and development with our state universities, colleges, and entrepreneurs,” Sachs said in a statement. “One of the keys to Florida’s success as the third most populous state is…

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Former Maria Sachs aide sues for discrimination, retaliation

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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…

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Maria Sachs says sexual harassment claims an attempt to stop her from pursuing investigation into aide

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A South Florida state senator said sexual harassment claims made by a former legislative aide are nothing more than an attempt to stop her from pursuing a criminal investigation into him. Sen. Maria Sachs said in an exclusive interview Monday there is no truth to a complaint filed by Matthew Damsky, a former aide, with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. In the complaint, which was first reported by Gossip Extra, Damsky claimed Sachs undressed in front of him on…

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Legislature passes new strictures on abortion clinics

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The Florida Senate on Wednesday passed a bill that critics say would curtail women’s access to safe and legal abortions, while supporters say it simply “gets Florida out of the abortion business.” The measure to increase medical requirements on abortion clinics, sponsored by Lakeland Republican Sen. Kelli Stargel, passed 25-15 after nearly half an hour of debate. After the Senate removed language pledging the state’s commitment to an “unborn child’s right to life,” which many legal observers could have added further constitutional complications,”…

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