Breaking News: Local resident Darlene Tye speaks with Eye on Jacksonville about then Mayor Tommy Hazouri and her upcoming book about her lawsuit against him in the 80’s.
Her book titled, “Turkeys, Vultures, Toads and Eagles: Power & Politics in Jacksonville, Florida” is coming soon.
Please note: We have reached out to Tommy Hazouri for his take on this book. When we hear back, we will let you know.
In the meantime, meet Darlene Tye – a local #metoo hero from the 80’s. Eye will be publishing a series of articles about this woman’s #metoo experiences. Amazing true stories about sexual harassment, discrimination, threatening phone calls, nasty flyers and even a gun inside the desk of her boss used to intimidate her. Eye gave Ms. Tye a WINK EYE for coming forward with her story and soon publishing her book.
Darlene Tye was a 60-year-old woman and was serving as the leader of the Civil Defense Department for the City of Jacksonville in 1987-88. She was elevated to that position when her boss – a man – took ill and could no longer serve in his job. She served the City in that department for more than 18 years and in that capacity for 17 months when her job soon became political in nature when Tommy Hazouri became Mayor.
During her years with the City there were more than 700,000 residents in Jacksonville and her responsibility was to make sure all of the residents were safe from disasters that might occur – such as hurricanes, fires, etc. She handled her job well and was a highly rated employee until…
Tommy Hazouri, candidate for Mayor, showed up in City Hall to meet with potential voters. Ms. Tye wanted to make sure that the job she was serving in would be secure if and when he became Mayor. He assured her it would be.
Unfortunately for Ms. Tye, Mr. Hazouri did not keep his promise to her once he became Mayor and was demoted from her position. A young man with no experience was put in as the leader of that department over her.
Because of his broken promises, Ms. Tye decided to file a lawsuit against the City of Jacksonville under the leadership of Mayor Hazouri for sexual discrimination and pay discrimination.
Mayor Hazouri tried to get out of depositions, filed his own lawsuit and made a Federal Case out of it. That behavior created even more issues and Ms. Tye changed her lawsuit to include retaliation in her case.
There is so much more to this story and some of your toes will curl when you hear what Ms. Tye had to put up with during her last years of her service to the citizens of Duval County and how politicians use their power and influence to intimidate anyone who dare challenge them.
But let me share this one big piece of the story before we end here.
Once Ms. Tye won the lawsuit against the city and Mayor Hazouri, she was sent to a small room on the first floor of City Hall to spend her year there. She had no job to do. The only items in the room were a desk, a chair and a typewriter. They basically put her in solitary confinement – away from the other city employees and shunned her as retaliation for her lawsuit.
Ms. Tye looked at that typewriter, decided to use it and daily wrote her story about her lawsuit against Mayor Hazouri, Jacksonville politics and the way she was personally treated as a woman in city government.
The book was completed when she served her time in a solitary room on the first floor of City Hall. Can you imagine?
The book is coming off the shelf and you’ll come out of your chair when you read it.
My hat is off to this precious woman who endured her own #metoo experience more than 30 years ago and now with grace and humility tells her story.
More to come. Stay tuned.
Here’s Ms. Darlene Tye – in her own words.