EEOC May Choose Rodriguez As Head

Recent media reports have placed Cambridge Licensing Commissioner Alex Rodriguez as possible choice to head the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, but his candidacy may be derailed by a recent sexual harassment charge filed against him.

The sexual harassment charge was filed with Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination (MCAD) on January 5 by Valerie Lynch Ortiz, a 21-year-old clerk at the licensing commission.

The charge has been forwarded from the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination, an organization Rodriguez formerly directed, to the EEOC, an organization Rodriguez could be in line to head.

But Rodriguez said his only knowledge that he was being considered for the EEOC position came through the Saturday story in The Boston Globe. "The Globe says my name is on a list. I'm flattered that they said that," he said.

Rodriguez served for eight years as director of MCAD under former Gov. Michael S. Dukakis, creating new legal channels through which the agency resolves sexual harassment and discrimination cases, including the procedures under which Ortiz filed her complaint.


Ortiz's complaint was referred to the EEOC due to Rodriguez's MCAD connections, according to The Globe.

In her complaint, Ortiz charged that Rodriguez "insisted on telling jokes and stories of a sexual nature." She also alleged that he "stares at me and other female employees, which creates avery uncomfortable working environment," accordingto The Globe.

Rodriguez said yesterday that he had not yetread the official complaint, but said he believedthe events had been misinterpreted.

"I have not had lust in my heart for anyone inthat office. I am a happily married man. I love mywife dearly," Rodriguez said, rephrasing remarksby former president Jimmy Carter.

Rodriguez said unless the complaint waswithdrawn or a settlement was reached, his casewould not be concluded for at least two years.

But the License Commissioner said he did notthink the complaint would not hurt his chances oflanding the EEOC position. "The people on thetransition team tend to be logical and understandfair play. They know an allegation is anallegation."

He then pointed out that Clinton faced manyallegations himself during his campaign, includingthose concerning Gennifer Flowers.

In a final ironic twist to a story full ofirony, if appointed to the EEOC Rodriguez wouldassume a post once held by Clarence Thomas. Twoyears ago, the current Supreme Court Justice washimself the subject of sexual harassment chargesmade by coworker Anita Hill.

The hearings surrounding these charges broughtthe issue of sexual harassment to the nationalforefront.

Rodriguez said he would not be disappointed ifhe is not named to head the EEOC. "I've lived 51years without living in Washington and I canprobably live 51 more very happily," saidRodriguez