Bad boss

Ex-mayor outed for making staffer scout bathhouses, exposing himself at the office, and more

A former assistant to Portland, Oregon’s ex-mayor Sam Adams just dropped a bombshell six-page account detailing the mistreatment he suffered at the hands of 54-year-old Adams during his four-year tenure as mayor.

Cevero Gonzalez worked as Adams’ executive assistant from 2008 to 2012. During that time he alleges his former boss made obscene gestures, exposed his genitalia, spoke in graphic detail about his sexual exploits, and demanded Gonzalez share accounts of his own bedroom conquests, among other things.

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Both Adams and Gonzalez are openly gay. In his statement, Gonzalez alleges that part of his job was to help Adams plan sexual experiences whenever he traveled for work.

He claims he was required to create a “secret profile” for the mayor that included a list of “gay clubs, bathhouses and gay bars” he might want to visit when out of town. When he returned to Portland, he would report back to Gonzalez with “details of his sexual exploits that he alleged resulted from the secret information.”

Gonzalez also recounts an inappropriate conversation that happened between himself and Adams during a ride from the airport:

“Come on. What type of guys do you like? Do you like ’em cut or uncut?” Asking me the last question while looking directly at my crotch. I tried changing the subject to work-related topics but Sam would have none of it. “Tell me. Are you a top or a bottom?”

When Gonzalez told then chief of staff Tom Miller about the conversation, Miller allegedly replied: “That’s just the way he is.”

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Other allegations include:

  • Gonzalez writes about picking up drunken Adams from nightclubs, including settling his bar tabs, making sure he didn’t drive his city car drunk, and making sure he didn’t hook up with any clandestine characters.
  • “Cleaning the mayor’s house while on city payroll.”
  • “Paying Sam’s personal obligations and waiting for him to reimburse me.”
  • “Laundering, pressing and mending the mayor’s clothes, including instances when he would come into my office, take off his pants and ask that I make repairs to a seam or button while he waited, often ‘accidentally’ exposing his genitals.”
  • “When Sam was late or did not attend a pre-scheduled event or gathering, I was required to secure his location–using the Find My Phone app–then drive in my personal vehicle to said location and physically walk the perimeter until he or his official city vehicle could be located.”

“Sam was a man who held and exerted power and influence as he saw fit and I simply worked to avoid his wrath,” Gonzalez writes. “I accepted Sam’s behavior and the rationales provided by my supervisors because when I complained I was told to be quiet. When I persisted I was told I could lose my job.”

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This isn’t the first time Adams has been accused of questionable bedroom behavior either. In 2007, he was exposed for having a sexual relationship with a 17-year-old intern. At first, Adams denied the allegations. He later admitted to lying, but said the two “waited to have sex” until the boy was 18.

Last week, Adams released a statement denying Gonzalez’s allegations:

I’ve been inspired by all the people who are coming forward to talk about how they have been sexually harassed. Sexual harassment is a real problem in the workplace. I did not sexually harass Mr. Gonzalez, but I think allegations like his should be thoroughly investigated. State and city procedures are in place to objectively examine the facts around allegations like these. I will gladly participate in such a process and look forward to its findings.

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