Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Hernando elections office worker's lawsuit says firing followed EEOC complaint

BROOKSVILLE — A staffer in the Hernando County Supervisor of Elections Office who was fired in October for insubordination has filed a federal lawsuit against his former employer, seeking damages in connection with alleged incidents of racial discrimination and harassment by former county Commissioner Jeff Stabins.

Tekova Castillo filed the suit last week in U.S. District Court, naming the Supervisor of Elections Office as the sole defendant and alleging that he was unfairly terminated not long after he filed a complaint with the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. The suit asks for an undisclosed amount in back wages, overtime pay and benefits, plus additional damages.

An elections specialist who earned $18,096 a year, Castillo worked six years in the elections office on Forest Oaks Boulevard in Spring Hill. In May, Castillo, who is black, alleged in a memo to Supervisor of Elections Annie Williams that beginning in February, Stabins visited the office frequently, and on several occasions harassed him and made derogatory remarks, and on several occasions referred to him as a "monkey." Stabins, he said, also told him he would be out of a job once Republican Shirley Anderson won the November election.

According to the compliant, Stabins came into the elections office May 25 and asked Castillo what he thought about the possibility of becoming a "ditch digging n-----."

Reached Wednesday at his home in New York, Stabins adamantly denied Castillo's accusations and called him an "absolute, pathological liar."

Stabins, who is not named as a defendant in the lawsuit, described his conversations with the plaintiff as friendly, and said that inquiries by the county Human Resources Department and the EEOC had vindicated him of any wrongdoing.

Castillo also alleges that despite the fact that he made a formal complaint to the county's Human Resources Department and to Williams, an "official investigation was never done".

Williams could not be contacted Wednesday, but stressed to a newspaper reporter in October that Castillo's termination was related to his performance and not linked in any way to Stabins.

Logan Neill can be reached at or (352) 848-1435.

Hernando elections office worker's lawsuit says firing followed EEOC complaint 12/26/12 [Last modified: Wednesday, December 26, 2012 7:29pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Florida education news: Shelter duty, charter schools, teacher pay and more


    ON THE JOB TRAINING: Michael Vasallo learns how to run an evacuation shelter on his 21st day as principal of Dunedin Highland Middle School.

    First year principal Michael Vasallo, right, got called into hurricane shelter duty one month into his job.
  2. Forecast: Sunny skies, warm temperatures to rule across Tampa Bay this week


    After periods of heavy rain in some parts of Tampa Bay over the weekend, the region can expect sunny skies, and warm condition to prevail through the workweek.

    [10Weather WTSP]
  3. PolitiFact Florida: How would Florida fare in Graham-Cassidy health care bill?


    Following a sharp rebuke by late-night talk show host Jimmy Kimmel, Sen. Bill Cassidy, R-La., hit the airwaves to defend his bill that would undo much of the Affordable Care Act.

    Sen. Bill Cassidy, R-La.
  4. Whatever happened to the Zika epidemic?


    Remember Zika?

    The last time Gov. Rick Scott warned Floridians about the potential threat of the mosquito-borne virus was in July, when he urged residents to still be vigilant against bug bites and standing water. At the time, doctors and researchers were bracing for what was supposed to be another active summer …

    Aedes aegypti mosquitoes are responsible for transmitting Zika. Cases of the virus are down dramatically in Florida.
  5. Pinellas licensing board needs cash. Will the county give it any?

    Local Government

    LARGO –– The grand jury that said Pinellas County should not take over the troubled construction licensing board also said the county should bail out the agency before it goes broke in 2018.

    Pinellas County Commission chair Janet Long isn't keen on the idea of the county loaning money to keep the Pinellas County Construction Licensing Board afloat. The county has no say over the independent agency, which could run out of funding in 2018. [SCOTT KEELER   |   Times]