Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald


Overture employee brings sexual harassment complaint

Sexual-harassment allegations may have spurred Bob D'Angelo, president and chief executive officer for the City of Madison's Overture Center for the Arts, to announce he would relinquish his post Tuesday.

In a letter to Mayor Dave Cieslewicz, D'Angelo said the reason for his retirement was to spend more time with family and friends and to travel for pleasure.

However, Monica Everson, who worked for D'Angelo for all of his 15 years in Madison, said D'Angelo stepped down fearing spread of sexual harassment allegations against him. Everson filed a seven-page formal complaint with Madison's Affirmative Action Department on Aug. 30, detailing D'Angelo's physical and verbal harassment.


"I think filing my complaint forced him [D'Angelo] to retire," Everson said. "I think he was afraid that my making it public would empower other women to file complaints. He thought he should leave before more people come forward."

Everson said D'Angelo's sexual harassment began in 1990, her first year working at the Madison Civic Center. She said the physical harassment stopped nine or ten years later, but the verbal abuse did not cease.

"He would grope me, fondle my breasts, grab my crotch and put my hand on his penis hoping I would massage it," Everson said. "He would ask me to give him oral sex in the office and he exposed himself to me once."

Everson blamed her fear of D'Angelo's powerful influence in the city for her hesitation to come forward with the allegations. She said co-workers knew what was going on, but advised her not to file a complaint if she wanted to keep her job.

Depression and self-hatred set in over the years as she kept her "dark secret" to herself, she said.

"It was killing me to keep it inside. I was very depressed, and I hated myself, I didn't come forward," Everson said. "It was like an implosion."

She added her depression got so bad she considered killing herself.

Everson said she hopes her allegations empower other victims of D'Angelo's harassment to come forward.

"I was not the only one this happened to," Everson said.

D'Angelo did not answer phone calls to respond to Everson's claims.

George Twigg, communications director to the mayor, said the city does not release specific details regarding the reasons for a retirement.

Michael Goldberg, vice president of program and development at the Overture Center, said he had not heard anything unusual about D'Angelo's reasons to retire.

"Bob indicated he wanted to relax and spend time with his family," Goldberg said. "I was not told anything else."

Goldberg will serve as interim president when D'Angelo steps down Nov. 19. Everson said she was delighted to hear Goldberg would be D'Angelo's replacement.

"To be honest, in the last year Michael Goldberg started to control things more than Bob did," Everson said. "They should just hire him straight-away instead of looking around the country for a replacement. I think if the city has the talent here, they should use it."

Goldberg said D'Angelo ran the Overture admirably.

"If I can run the Overture Center for the Arts as well as he did, I will have done a fine job," Goldberg said.

Everson, who is currently on disability, said she would not return to work at the Overture.

"I just couldn't work there anymore," Everson said. "I don't think I would be welcome."

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