LAT ties Piolin split to sexual harassment accusations

piolin-promo.jpgEddie "Piolin" Sotelo's mysterious departure from Spanish-language airwaves last week "came after a writer and performer on his nationally syndicated program accused him of sexual harassment," the LA Times says based on documents obtained by the paper. A letter to executives at Univision said that Sotelo grabbed the buttocks and genitals of the writer at work and taunted him about his girlfriend and being gay. The writer went on medical leave in January and returned to the show recently. From the LAT:

Alberto "Beto" Cortez, a writer, producer and performer on the popular "Piolin por la Manana" radio program, alleged that his boss Sotelo was "physically, sexually and emotionally harassing" him for a three-year period ending last January. The claim was made in an April 16 letter from Cortez attorney Robert R. Clayton to executives Roberto Llamas and Jose Valle of Univision Communications Inc., which broadcast and syndicated the show.

In addition to the claim of sexual harassment, Cortez alleged that Sotelo ordered members of his radio production team to falsify letters in support of a high-profile campaign for congressional immigration reform, an issue that Sotelo championed on his program.

Sotelo's attorney, Jeffrey Spitz, said the allegations were false and motivated by money.

"A disgruntled, troubled employee has made malicious and false claims about Eddie Sotelo," Spitz said in a statement. "This was done as part of a demand for money.... The employee worked with Eddie for more than a decade. The employee's allegations of harassment and falsification of immigration letters are pure fiction intended to gain a financial settlement.

Piolin's progam was dropped abruptly a little over a week ago. The Times' squad of staff tweeters and retweeters is pushing this one hard — including editor Davan Maharaj:

More by Kevin Roderick:
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