MIAMI (CBSMiami) — The director of a South Florida art museum emerged from a more than hour-long meeting with the city manager in North Miami Wednesday, still on paid leave following a complaint from an employee.
Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) Director Babacar M’Bow is facing an accusation of what is being called “office misconduct,” according to our news partners at the Miami Herald.
Other published reports have mentioned harassment and racial or ethnic discrimination.
“The allegations that have been asserted against him are completely false, and we’re looking forward to the manager’s resolution of the situation,” said M’Bow’s attorney Bridgette Thornton after the meeting with the town’s manager and lawyer.
North Miami’s Interim City Manager Arthur Sorey placed M’Bow on paid leave last week and barred him from the museum, city call and other city events.
Sorey said the alleged incident that prompted the complaint happened last Wednesday afternoon. The employee filed a complaint with the city the following day.
So far, they have interviewed witnesses but need to get M’Bow’s side of the story.
M’Bow, told the Herald the allegations are false and were made by a disgruntled employee.
MOCA’s assistant director Alan Waufle has also been placed on paid leave for office misconduct. The complaint alleged he used “inappropriate gender language” toward an employee.
Waufle did not reply to requests for comment.
M’Bow has been director of the museum since April 2014. Following the incident earlier this month, Natasha Colebrook-Williams was named interim director until further notice.
The city has refused to release details of the allegations against M’Bow or Waufle, citing an on-going investigation. Even though the case against Waufle has been closed, city spokesperson Casandra Timothe said the written complaint or complaints against him would not be released because they are entwined with the continuing investigation of M’Bow.
M’Bow wouldn’t discuss his suspension but boasted of his tenure as MOCA’s director.
“We have taken the museum to new heights,” he said.