State settles harassment, retaliation complaint
June 14, 2007
The Board of Examiners on Thursday agreed to a $450,000 settlement of a suit by the woman who charged former Tourism Director Bruce Bommarito with sexual harassment and retaliation.
Teri Schloemer made the allegations almost three years ago. Her lawsuit charged that after she did so she suffered retaliation, eventually resulting in her termination in June 2005. She was the North American Tour Manager for the Nevada Commission on Tourism.
Deputy Attorney General Steve Quinn said the sexual harassment claims weren’t the primary reason for recommending settlement. He said the retaliation and wrongful termination claims were the major concern for the state.
Quinn told the board, consisting of the governor, attorney general and secretary of state, that the state’s exposure was likely to be more than double the settlement amount if they lost at trial, as much as $1.35 million.
The suit filed in U.S. District Court in Reno charged that Bommarito was arranging to dine with Schloemer in “inappropriate romantic locations” such as the Eiffel Tower restaurant at Paris-Las Vegas as well as buying her perfume and jewelry. Schloemer also said Bommarito required her to travel with him in his personal vehicle rather than go separately and to sit next to him at parties.
When she did not respond favorably, the suit says, Bommarito verbally attacked her, reducing her to tears on one occasion. When that occurred, she charged he approached her from behind, putting his arms around her and saying he loved her.
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After learning she had filed a sexual harassment complaint, Schloemer charged that Bommarito became hostile, eventually putting her on administrative leave and accusing her of misappropriating funds. She was fired June 27, 2005.
Bommarito has since left the position of tourism director. Schloemer is also working elsewhere.
• Contact reporter Geoff Dornan at email@example.com or 687-8750.