Former employee accuses president of Ocean Reef of sexual harassment

David Ritz, president of the Ocean Reef Community Association since 1992, denied the claims of harassment over a 10-year period

Feb.February 16, 2019 03:00 PM

David Ritz (Source: Florida Keys Electric Cooperative)

UPDATED Feb. 19, 12 p.m.: A former employee of the Ocean Reef Community Association in North Key Largo filed a sexual harassment lawsuit against the executive in charge of daily operations at the exclusive gated resort.

The woman who filed the suit claimed that David Ritz, president of the Ocean Reef Community Association (ORCA), harassed her from 2007 until November 2017.

She alleges that Ritz “demanded” to have sex with her, both at her home and his, and made uninvited sexual advances toward her during working hours.

Bruce Johnson, an attorney for Ritz, told the Miami Herald, “There is no truth whatsoever to these allegations. We are denying them vehemently.”

The plaintiff in the suit, referred to as “Jane Doe,” also named as defendants the Ocean Reef Community Association and ORCAT Inc., a nonprofit group that traps cats and neuters them, where “Doe” was an employee until her resignation in 2018.

Ritz has been president and administrator of the Ocean Reef Community Association since 1992.  He served as a city manager of Oakland Park and other municipalities prior to his tenure at Ocean Reef.

Ritz also serves on the board of directors of the Florida Keys Electric Cooperative and as secretary-treasurer of the Florida Keys Aqueduct Authority.

Ocean Reef is a self-reliant community in North Key Largo with its own airport and fire department, a high-security private destination that has drawn such famous visitors as former president Barrack Obama and his family. [Miami Herald]Mike Seemuth

Correction: A previous version of this story incorrectly referred to another entity rather than the Ocean Reef Community Association.

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