Tuesday, August 20, 2013

TRO Injunction Case Dismissed Against Perez, General Manager From Esperanza Unida

Irene Agape Correa and Manuel "Manny" Perez

Perez had denied sexual harassment claims by Correa, the head of a mental health clinic at Esperanza Unida.

By H. Nelson Goodson
August 20, 2013

Milwaukee, WI - On Tuesday, a temporary restraining order (TRO) injunction hearing resulted with a dismissal and the injunction denied against, Manuel "Manny" Perez, the current general manager for Esperanza Unida. Irene Agape Correa, 35, President of  United Hands Across the City, a mental health clinic run at the Esperanza Unida, 611 W. National Ave. filed a TRO on August 8, which claimed that Perez on several occasions grabbed her arm and once tried to grope her while caressing her, but when another person walked in on them and Perez stopped.
Two people, Daniel Martinez and Damon Dersey testified for Correa and four people, Jose Lopez, Kathleen Oleson, Evelyn Alicea and Robert Miranda, the executive director for Esperanza Unida testified for Perez, according to court records.
Martinez, Correa's father testified that he walked in when Perez was gripping his daughter's arm and then Perez left. But, a Milwaukee County court commissioner believe it was a misunderstanding between both Correa and Perez, "not sexual harassment." Correa will request a review, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
Perez had denied Correa's claims and believed he would be exonerated in court, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported. Correa who runs a clinic rent free claimed, Perez had threatened to get rid of her from the Esperanza Unida building.
Correa has not announced, if she will pursue legal recourse against Perez or Esperanza Unida, since her request for a continuance of a TRO injunction was denied. Perez also has not released a statement concerning the outcome of the TRO in his favor.
Robert Miranda, the executive director of Esperanza Unida released the following statement from the Board, "the board is aware of and monitoring the allegations made against the organization's general manager, Manny Perez.Based on an initial inquiry and report by a member of the board, the board maintains its confidence in Manny's leadership. We were pleased that a Milwaukee County Court Commissioner reviewed the allegations and dismissed the complaint this week." The Esperanza Unida Board retained former U.S. Attorney Steven Biskupic to review and investigate allegations made by a committee calling itself "Friends of Esperanza Unida." Biskupic will evaluate the allegations and then report back to the Board about what appropriate action to take in the matter, according to Miranda.
Perez formerly worked for Governor Scott Walker in 2011 and resigned only five months into the job citing he had accomplished what he wanted to do in that short period. Perez was previously an owner of JNA Staffing Inc. and head of the Hispanic Republican group in Wisconsin that supported Walker. He also worked for Manpower Group.

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