Advance News Journal Grossly Defends Pharr City Employee’s Sexual Misconduct

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In the Observations section of Advance News Journal, Editor G. Romero Wendorf reported that Pharr employee Dahlia Ybarra had filed a sexual harassment lawsuit against her supervisor, Pharr Events Center Director Gary Rodriguez, naming the City of Pharr as another defendant. The rest of Wendorf’s piece, however, is a slut-shaming pile of misogynistic garbage.

Before we get into Romero’s magnum opus, here are some details that Dahlia Ybarra alleges in her lawsuit:

Ybarra, who worked at the Pharr Events Center, would make trips to city hall where Rodriguez would meet her with hugs and call her beautiful in a “lascivious manner.”

She reported these incidents to her supervisor Rogelio Garcia in early 2015, to which he simply told Rodriguez to stop. No report was made to HR by her supervisor.

Rodriguez allegedly stopped for a while until he was named her immediate supervisor as director of the Pharr Events Center, where in April 2016, Rodriguez squeezed her thighs twice under a table during a team building event at Pharr City Hall.

About 10 days later, Ybarra was called to Rodriguez’ office to which he explained why he stares at her, “explaining that he is just admiring..Ybarra because she is a good looking woman.”

She subsequently reported the incidents to HR, to which nothing was reportedly done which followed up with a complaint she filed with the Texas Workforce Commission.

In early July, Rodriguez allegedly called Ybarra at 6:19 AM, only breathing on the phone, to which another report was made to HR and, again, nothing done.

At the time of the writing, it seems that Ybarra is still employed by the City of Pharr.

So now that we have most of the major story covered, let’s take a minute to dissect G. Romero Wendorf hot-shit of a take:

PHARR FEMALE EMPLOYEE WANTS A MILLION BUCKS?

AAAND Right off the bat with the misogyny. The headline of the story isn’t even that a public employee is being accused of multiple instances of sexual harassment, but of the amount of the exemplary damages that Ybarra’s attorney had set in the original petition. He may as well have started his article with “WOMEN? RIGHTS? WHAAAAAAAAT???”

…she’ll become the envy of a lot of women who’ll start to think: what do i have to do to get sexually harassed?

Grade-A stuff here, G! Wendorf eloquently and expertly marginalizes women in one effortless stroke, because WHO WOULDN’T WANNA GET TOUCHED FOR A MILLION BUCKS?! AMIRITE?

Instead of filing a formal complaint against him, she allegedly told her immediate supervisor, who…asked Rodriguez to discontinue telling Ybarra that she looked good.

How DARE she tell her immediate supervisor about the incident and NOT human resources! How DARE she use the appropriate chain-of-command, ASSUMING that her supervisor would be responsible enough to report the incident to human resources!!! JEEZ!!!

After Gary Rodriguez became Ybarra’s direct supervisor, according to the lawsuit, during a mandatory team building event at city hall in April of this year, Rodriguez squeezed her thigh not once, but twice. If she wins the million, that would equate to half-a-million per squeeze.

Jesus. “half-a-million a squeeze.” You realize he’s actually PAID to write this garbage, right?

It would appear, based on the lawsuit, that the first time Ybarra filed an official complaint with HR was April 28, 2016, during the same period the city was cutting back on overtime hours.

Great detective work, G! April 28th was also Italian BMT day at Subway AND just so happened to be “Kiss Your Mate Day—OHHMYGAAAWDIT’S A CONSPIRACY!!!!

I have absolutely no clue as to where Wendorf was going when he made that point. One can only imagine that he thought Ybarra was so desperate for money that SHE’D DO ANYTHING to invest in a lawsuit to help make up her missing overtime pay.

Wendorf also takes a minute to comment on the 2nd sexual harassment lawsuit filed against Rodriguez by another Pharr city employee, Felix De La Garza.

According to his lawsuit, Rodriguez often talked about women who he fucked, grabbed his dick in front of De La Garza and asked if he was a “germaphobe.”

Wendorf takes this opportunity to, basically, stalk De La Garza’s Facebook page and list off the “offensive” things he found on there, attempting to make his lawsuit moot.

His pièce de résistance, however, is in his closing

In the case of Ybarra, if she filed complaints against Rodriguez in April, and she says he continued to say suggestive things toward her…why didn’t she record him? If he allegedly squeezed her thigh, why didn’t she just lean back and punch him? She’s a big woman. Fight back.

::slow clap:: Bravo! BRAVOOOO, Wendorf! It’s good to know that some people still got some GOOD ‘OL FASHIONED SENSE in ’em! Why NOT clock the motherfucker in the mouth when she had the CHANCE?! Why NOT make an effort to quickly and effortlessly just RECORD the guy just seconds before he called her into his office?? Why didn’t she just place a blood pressure tracker on his dick so she knew exactly the moment he became erect, take out her phone and record said erection as part of her exhibits in her original pleadings??? GAWWWL Why don’t people just fuckin’ THINK???

Here’s the problem: G. Romeo Wendorf is a pretty well known journalist who serves a majority of Pharr residents. His newspaper is read so much that legal notices, HEB coupons, and other popular ads are included in his print edition. Nowhere in the piece does Wendorf even attempt to assert that these allegations could potentially be true. Nowhere does he ask why the City of Pharr did virtually nothing to investigate these allegations that, according to the lawsuit, they’ve known for quite some time. Instead, Wendorf puts Ybarra on trial for reporting and taking measures into more extremes when nothing was done about it by her employer.

It’s shitty enough that we are just days separated from electing this leaky asshole, but couldn’t Wendorf have just reported the news? Coudn’t Wendorf have just reported the actual story and not grossly defend a guy who can potentially be a pervert?

I’ve reached out to Wendorf for comment, we’ll update once we receive one.

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4 Comments

  1. JD, I am the attorney for Ybarra and De La Garza. I appreciate your article since I felt like I couldn’t respond to Wendorf for fear of picking a one-sided fight with someone who buys their ink by the barrel. I’ve known Wendorf for over almost 20 years and he usually calls me for a comment before he goes on the attack. I have been informed that he is good friends with Gary Rodriguez so that might explain why he didn’t attempt to get both sides of the story before he went to print.

    And for the record, the touching was witnessed and we have the phone records from when he called at 6:19 am.

    As I have told another media outlet, there are going to be at least 2 additional lawsuits by other employees. One by a female who was touched in a really creepy way (he would run his fingers on her hair when he would walk by her) and another by a male who went through the same thing as De La Garza. Again, thanks for calling Wendorf out on what was really a ruthless and unjust attack on 2 individuals who are simply invoking their rights under Texas law.

    • R T, I agree that Wendorf normally tells it like it is. No case is perfect and I have always respected him for thoughtfully pointing out the merits of my opponent’s position. My point is that he has my mobile number and in the past he’s called me first before going to print an attack. “The sting of the truth” comes from his failure to get both sides of this story, which I assume most “journalists” would want to do, before ranting and railing to protect a friend. I would not have any quarrel with Gregg’s “Observations” if he’d just been up front about where his loyalty lies and then gone on to attest to his personal knowledge of Rodriguez’s character and what scum he thinks of me as a lawyer. He could have called me and then misquoted the hell out of what I said but at least he could say that he talked to both sides. But the personal attack on the woman claiming the sexual harassment, when there are eye witnesses and phone records, is straight out of the Clinton’s playbook. My guess is that you blindly believe that all those women were all lying about Clinton too. (How do explain Monica’s blue dress?) Unfortunately, that is the problem with the media today. Rather than present both sides of a story and let the readers decide, they feel that it is their God-given right (although they mostly don’t believe in God) to tell us what we are supposed to believe. R T, the truth in this case will be decided by a jury of the parties peers. Regardless of how the jury eventually decides, I will feel no sting because I respect our judicial system and the role that the people play in it. And guess what, at a trial, we get to hear from both sides.

  2. Why didn’t she “punch him” “fight back”. It takes a minute or two to have empathy, you know put yourself in the shoes of the person. Some “fight” back, some do nothing and some deal with it –head on & professionally. The law is clear, harassment in the work place is against the law, wrong, illegal. However you feel about the details of this case. It is against the law don’t lose cite of the real problem here.

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