Terranova’s Stephen Bittel resigns as Florida Dems chair due to reports of inappropriate conduct

Women allege Bittel created an uncomfortable work environment with leering, demeaning comments

Stephen Bittel (Credit: Florida Democratic Party)
Stephen Bittel (Credit: Florida Democratic Party)

An alleged history of making inappropriate comments caught up with Terranova Corp. founder Stephen Bittel, who stepped down on Friday as chairman of the Florida Democratic Party.

Politico reported on Thursday that Bittel, chairman of Terranova, a Miami Beach-based commercial real estate firm, created an unprofessional workplace environment for women. His actions, Democratic staffers and consultants told Politico, included making unwanted invitations to join him on his private jet, making degrading and inappropriate remarks, leering and more. The women said he never inappropriately touched them or threatened them.

In the wake of the Harvey Weinstein scandal, the list of powerful men facing allegations of sexual misconduct is growing by the day. Last week, the New York Times reported that hotelier André Balazs, who founded the boutique hotel chain the Standard, has reportedly groped women, including actress Amanda Anka.

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On Friday, Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum, a top candidate for governor, Democratic candidates Gwen Graham, Chris King and former Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine, all called on Bittel to resign.

Bittel’s company is developing projects off Lincoln Road in Miami Beach, including The Lincoln Eatery, a food hall, and just completed a new building leased to Anthropologie. Terranova’s portfolio includes more than $1 billion in assets, according to its website [Politico]Katherine Kallergis