A Volusia County attorney was fired after a female coworker complained that he had followed her to grocery stores, doctor's appointments and gas stations, was caught sleeping in his car outside her mom's house, and had been spotted roaming her neighborhood.
DELAND — An assistant Volusia County attorney was fired after a female coworker complained that the lawyer had followed her around town, repeatedly asked her out and gave her unwanted gifts, records released Thursday show.
When confronted by county management, attorney Michael Moore denied allegations of stalking and harassment in response to claims that he'd roamed around the woman's neighborhood, followed her to grocery stores, doctor's appointments and bars, and was caught sleeping in his car outside her mom's house, reports state.
In reference to the $3,000 in cash he'd given the woman, along with wine and other unwanted gifts, Moore, hired in 2014, responded that he'd only intended to "assist a fellow employee," because he "knew of her financial situation," records show.
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But County Attorney Dan Eckert wrote in an Aug. 12 memo announcing involuntary separation that Moore "exhibited a serious lack of professional judgement contrary to the interest of the county."
Moore, whose salary was $126,884, was given the opportunity to submit an appeal. He could not be reached for this story.
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The complainant, whose name was not provided but is still employed by the county, filed a police report with the Orange City Police Department in February detailing events that had occurred since Dec. 14, when she claims the harassment began. She said she didn't wish to prosecute and wanted to seek counsel with her attorney before she notified her employer of the issue.
She lodged the complaint with the county's human resources division on Aug. 6 and also requested a transfer to another department. She also got a restraining order against Moore, records show.
She told police that Moore had recently followed her to Walmart and had been sending multiple texts to her cellphone attempting to convince her on a date, a report states. She also told police that she had caught Moore taking her personal cellphone at work, in an attempt to view her pictures without consent, according to the report. She alleged that Moore offered her money to purchase her personal cellphone pictures and had arrived at her residence twice uninvited with alcoholic beverages, the report states.
The complainant told county officials during an internal investigation that Moore had followed her to Walmart, a dermatology appointment, and to a sports bar and a karaoke bar on separate occasions. She said he'd once been seen roaming around her neighborhood. Another time, he was spotted watching her mother's home at 3 in the morning.
She said that she and her mother purchased home security systems, fearing Moore's intentions, the reports state.
Moore had given the woman a variety of unwanted gifts, according to records. Those gifts include four bottles of wine, chocolate covered strawberries, 10 books, and approximately $3,000 to $4,000 in cash or a money order. One of several boxes of chocolates came with a card that read, "I'm sorry M."
A plant given to the coworker came with another card dated July 29, 2019. This one read, "I appreciate your help everyday. I am sorry I was so harsh. Please forgive me."