James Batmasian responds to employee lawsuit

James Batmasian
James Batmasian

James Batmasian fired back against an employee and two independent contractors who are suing the Palm Beach County commercial real estate owner for alleged discrimination, fraud and harassment.

Batmasian and his wife Marta released a statement through a spokesperson on Monday claiming the complaints filed by leasing agent Karla Sotomayor and independent contractor James Baker as “replete with lies, false statements and half truths.” Sotomayor accused Batmasian of making romantic passes at her and ordering her to lease space to massage parlor tenants who could provide sexual favors for him and his friends. The Batmasians responded to Sotomayor’s suit by suing Baker for allegedly stealing confidential company information and providing it to Sotomayor. Baker is suing Batmasian under the Florida Whistleblower Act.

“We believe that Karla Sotomayor and James Morgan Baker, who are living together, and Joe Falso, who is their close friend, conspired together to create false, purely manufactured claims against us born only after my wife and I refused to succumb to their respective demands that we give each of them large sums of money to solve their personal financial problems,” James Batmasian said.

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The Batmasians claim to have “numerous cards” from Sotomayor expressing her gratitude to the couple for the opportunities they provided her. In their statement, Batmasian’s regional property manager Scott Lawson notes that he has not seen the alleged conduct occur at any point in his 10 years with the company.

All documents related to the claim against Baker were sent to a third-party accountant to verify their accuracy.

“Although we preferred for these matters to be handled as they should be, through the judicial system, we can no longer rely on the judicial system as so many innocent people are hurt by the lies,” Batmasian said. “We are vigorously defending against each of the actions, taking legal action against each of these three individuals.” — Eric Kalis