Greenacres businessman faces sexual discrimination lawsuit from attorney general
Thu., Oct. 15, 2015
A 79-year-old businessman from Greenacres faces accusations from the Washington Attorney General’s Office that he discriminated in hiring and sexually harassed young female employees.
Monte L. Masingale took out advertisements on websites such as Craigslist, as well as in The Spokesman-Review, seeking applicants for a secretary position between 2012 and this year, the Attorney General’s Office alleges in a complaint filed Wednesday. The Attorney General’s Office says Masingale refused to consider men for the advertised job with Greenacres Motors, which has locations in Airway Heights, Spokane Valley and Post Falls.
The women Masingale hired were subjected to harassment and unwanted sexual advances, the Attorney General’s Office alleges. He also promised bonuses and threatened firing if they didn’t return his advances, according to the complaint.
Masingale had no listed legal representation Thursday. Steve Kempner, a local attorney representing Greenacres Motors, declined comment on the allegations Thursday, saying he hadn’t had time to review the legal filing.
A representative of Greenacres said Thursday that Masingale is not an employee of the company.
The business is listed in the name of Masingale’s wife, Rosanna, who is also listed in the complaint filed by the Attorney General.
It’s not the first time Monte Masingale has faced allegations of improper sexual behavior on the job. In May 2014, he took an Alford plea in Idaho after prosecutors said he took a prospective job candidate to a dealership in Post Falls and demanded sex. An Alford plea is made when a defendant maintains their innocence but admits there is enough evidence that a jury might convict them.
Masingale was sentenced to 180 days in jail. He was released three weeks after his plea on good behavior, according to Idaho court records.
Masingale faced eviction from a mobile home park in Spokane County, where he sublet lots to customers who’d purchased motor homes from the dealership, according to court records. The park’s new owners claimed in court he allowed drug activity on the property and that attempts to negotiate with Masingale were met with hostility.
Rosanna Masingale paid the back rent on the lots, and an agreement was reached for Monte Masingale to leave by November 2014, according to court records.
“He is gruff and doesn’t like to be pushed around,” Rosanna Masingale said in a declaration to the court. “While this is uncomfortable to some people, it helped him to be successful in business.”
Several online advertisements attached as exhibits to the complaint by the Attorney General list job opportunities and training at an “automotive and RV dealership” in Spokane Valley as recently as August. The number listed to call for inquiries is not the business number of any Greenacres Motors locations.
The Attorney General’s Office is asking Masingale to pay a $2,000 penalty for every violation of state law governing unfair hiring practices.
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