Sponsored By
An organization or individual has paid for the creation of this work but did not approve or review it.



Former PI administrator faces civil suit in Worthington

Algadi, Abraham.jpg

WORTHINGTON — A former area man who sued Pine Island after being terminated as its city administrator is back in court, this time as a defendant.

Abraham Algadi has been accused of assault and battery, intentional infliction of emotional distress and false imprisonment.

His new employer, the Worthington Regional Economic Development Corp., has been accused of the same charges, as well as gender discrimination, negligence in supervision, and reprisal.

The civil suit, filed in January in Nobles County District Court, was brought by a 30-year-old woman who was the executive secretary/office manager for WREDC from 2011 through April 2016.

The suit alleges she was fired in retaliation for objecting to and reporting misconduct by Algadi, who was hired by the city in May 2013.


He lost his job as the Pine Island administrator on Jan. 15, 2012, after a divided council voted to eliminate the position.

Nick Novak, the council member who made the motion to eliminate the role, said it was a way for the city to save around $100,000 annually. Algadi argued that it was a personal vendetta against him and sued the city. The lawsuit was dismissed by the Minnesota Court of Appeals in March 2014.

"The reason stated for the elimination of the position has been proven time and again to the good people of Pine Island as a hoax," Algadi said in July 2015, after city leaders decided to reopen and refill the position.

The council members who voted to terminate him, he claimed, "never had a clear understanding of the issues. They were really focused on a singular issue that left them blind by their own agenda, or vendetta, or racial bias, or whatever you want to call it.

That information was conveyed to Algadi's Worthington employer after he was hired there, but before he formally started work, the new civil suit says.

"WREDC was notified that Algadi made false accusations against his former employer, the City of Pine Island (including calling the people of Pine Island 'schizophrenic')," the complaint says.

Its members also "received phone calls and letters indicating that Algadi engaged in such sexist comments to and about women that it caused his last employer (it's unclear if this is Pine Island) to install video cameras," the woman alleges.

Instead of taking any action in response to the information, and in response to concerns from the plaintiff and another female employee, Board Chairman Jason Vote allegedly directed the women to destroy the letters.


The lawsuit details nearly 60 allegations against Algadi, claiming, among other things, that he:

•Told the woman he'd placed a tracker on her car "so he'd always know where she was."

• Repeatedly threatened to kill her, adding that nobody would believe her if she told anyone.

• Told her, in front of a client, to "shut the (expletive) up!"

• Repeatedly pressed his groin against the woman.

• Routinely called her a derogatory name.

• Made vulgar comments to the woman on a daily basis, including telling her she was "dumb."

• Told the woman's 5-year-old daughter that he was going to "beat up" her mother.


• Referred to the woman as a "cracker" and said she's so white, he could almost see through her.

• Came up behind her, cut off a piece of her hair and put it in a plastic bag. He allegedly said he was going to New Orleans and he intended to purchase a voodoo doll and warned her when she started to feel aches and pains, it would be because he was using the doll.

• Repeatedly said he wanted to "burn" the woman's hair if it was in a bun, and ordered her to wear it down all the time.

• Repeatedly asked to smell her hands.

• Repeatedly told her she was fat.

The WREDC Board of Directors was reportedly made aware of Algadi's alleged misconduct. Instead of taking action, the lawsuit says, the woman's complaints were laughed at; she was told to keep her mouth shut; she was accused of being "out for money;" and was told the board would "talk" to Algadi.

The plaintiff eventually obtained a restraining order against Algadi.

She was terminated less than a week later, despite the fact that she'd never been "reprimanded, disciplined or put on any notice whatsoever that her performance was problematic or that her job was in danger," the document says.

What To Read Next
Get Local