9 Investigates

UCF intern accuses Seminole County commissioner of sexual harassment

SEMINOLE COUNTY, Fla. — A University of Central Florida intern accused Seminole County Commissioner Lee Constantine of sexual harassment in a letter to the county's human resources department that 9 Investigates obtained.

In the letter, the intern said she was hired in March to work for Charity Challenge, Constantine's nonprofit.

She said that she and Constantine were setting up for an event at Camping World Stadium in May when he touched her while she was on the phone.


"He placed both of his hands on my shoulders and started massaging them," she said in the letter.

She said he also played with her hair.

The intern said Constantine touched her again later in the day.

"Commissioner Constantine snuck up behind me and grabbed my sides," she said.

The intern said she left the event and did not return to her internship.

"I decided that I could not possibly feel safe with Commissioner Constantine," she said in the letter.

The county said it was not appropriate for it to investigate her allegations because she was hired to work for Constantine's nonprofit, not his office, she said.

She said the county recommended that she contact UCF.

She said someone at UCF contacted the county and was told the same thing -- that the county could not investigate the allegations.

On Monday, UCF told 9 Investigates that it investigated the intern's claims and interviewed a possible witness at the event and previous interns, but the discussions did not yield any solid information.

The university said its Department of Political Science and its Rosen College of Hospitality Management had provided Constantine's office and charity with interns in the past, but it will no longer do so in the future, for the safety of its students.

The school said it will no longer include job listings for Constantine's office or charity at student career fairs.

Constantine returned reporter Shannon Butler's phone calls Friday, but when she visited his office Monday, she was told he is out of town.

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