Resigned Hillsborough exec: 'Die was cast against me because I am gay'

Published Nov. 12, 2013

TAMPA — A former supervisor of children's programs for Hillsborough County said Monday an investigation that led to her resignation was a "farce" that overlooked evidence and was shaped by gay stereotypes.

"I resigned because the die was cast against me because I am gay," wrote Erica Moore, the former interim Head Start director and Children Services director for the county, in a statement.

Moore, who earned $104,978 annually, resigned Nov. 1 after an investigation found she gave unsolicited sexual advice to co-workers. The investigation determined that in multiple instances and in the presence of five women, Moore counseled them to be sexually attentive to their husbands to keep them from straying.

Moore did not respond to a message last week for an article. Monday, she issued a statement.

The women involved are friends who previously conspired against supervisors, she wrote.

"These allegations were concocted by employees who feared for their jobs because they knew that any hint of homosexual scandal would cause the County to support them," Moore wrote.

She said she had not harassed anyone. "Polygraph results found me to be 'Truthful' in all responses" but were not included in the findings, she said.

"... The statistics show that the foster children thrived under my care, with decreased runaways and arrest, coupled with raised academic, nutritional, personal safety and recreational expectations," Moore wrote. "The saddest thing to me is the message that this sends to impressionable teens, that it is not permitted to be gay in Hillsborough County, even if you are competent and hardworking."