The lawyer for Ronald Rubin, the embattled Commissioner of the state’s Office of Financial Regulation, says his client “should return to service.”
Rubin was suspended after allegations of sexual harassment and inappropriate workplace comments, all of which don’t justify his suspension, let alone his firing, said Coconut Grove attorney Michael Tein in a letter to Gov. Ron DeSantis and the Florida Cabinet.
“He accepts that, despite the best of intentions, he made some people uncomfortable,” Tein wrote in the letter, sent Tuesday. “And he has sincerely apologized. He has taken supplemental training on management and sexual harassment to ensure this won’t happen again.”
Tein argued in part that OFR Inspector General Bradley Perry‘s “definition of ‘proved’ is far below the standards for civil and criminal liability used every day in Florida’s courts.”
He added: “You can censure him if you wish but, in doing so, you should use the same yardstick to judge misconduct by other Florida officials.”
Rubin was suspended after a woman employee complained of sexual harassment, which Rubin has denied. The nub of the complaint had to do with a lunch meeting in which Rubin made offhand sexually related comments and invited her to see his condo. Other unrelated complaints of inappropriate comments followed.
Rubin has said Patronis is trying to force him out because he refused to accede to the CFO’s push to hire Kim Grippa, a politically connected lawyer and ex-wife of Tony Grippa, an insurance executive and former Leon County Commissioner.
Since then, the OFR inspector general’s office released findings it says prove that Rubin violated policies against harassment and misconduct, including alleged comments on a sex-watching canine, bowtie-wearers and Rubin’s parents’ fertility.
This story is developing. Requests for comments are being sent to the Governor’s Office and others. Tein’s letter is below.