PEMBROKE PARK, Fla. – Pembroke Park’s town attorney says she fears for her safety after the mayor texted her a video she called “homophobic” and “misogynistic.”
It’s the latest development in an ongoing and highly-public feud between two top officials in the south Broward town of about 7,000 people.
Mayor Geoffrey Jacobs insists he sent Town Attorney Melissa Anderson the TikTok video by mistake.
In the video, which contains obscene language, a woman asks “what is it about a (masculine) woman that infuriates you?”
A man, who describes himself as a bouncer at a bar, replies “they’re super loud, they’re super confrontational.”
On Oct. 4, three days after receiving the video, Anderson sent an email to the chief of Pembroke Park’s newly-formed police department, saying she perceived the video as a “threat of physical violence” and was advised that Jacobs sent the video to the town manager with a caption implying the video was about her:
On Saturday, October 1 at 11:15am, I received a text from Mayor Jacob (sic) containing this link to a tik tok video (see below). I perceive this video as a threat of physical violence against me. If you watch the video, you will understand why. Not only is the video incredibly homophobic and misogynistic, in it, the bouncer of a bar basically explains that he can beat up the lesbian featured in the video and that is why he isn’t afraid of her. I would like to file a police report as to the receipt of this video from Mayor Jacob (sic) to me. I will follow this up with a screenshot of the text. I have also been advised that he sent this video to at least one other employee with the caption ‘this is your town attorney.’”Email from Melissa Anderson to Chief David Howard, Oct. 4
Anderson filed a police report and a complaint with the town’s human resources department and said in an email to Local 10 News that she believes Jacobs’ “harassment” constitutes a crime under Broward County code and state law and intends to contact Broward County’s Office of the Inspector General.
According to its website, the “watchdog” agency investigates “allegations of misconduct including fraud, corruption, and abuse and gross mismanagement, by officials and employees of the charter government of Broward County (and) its thirty-one municipalities.”
Anderson and Jacobs have had multiple public spats at town commission meetings and Jacobs has openly called for her firing.
However, the commission voted two to one to retain Anderson.
The two were recently at odds over the town’s decision to launch the new police department amid an acrimonious split with the Broward Sheriff’s Office, which had provided police services to the town for more than four decades.
“It is well-known that I do not trust our town attorney,” Jacobs said at a recent meeting.
Jacobs responded to Anderson’s allegations in a statement to Local 10 News:
I did send a ticktock (sic) video to the Town Attorney Melissa Anderson from my personal cell phone to her personal phone. I also tried to immediately recall it because it was not intended for her. I am not surprised that you were emailed as Melissa Anderson texted me that she meant to notify the media (specifically the Sun Sentimental (sic)), thanked me for the “gift,” and she laughed about it. As previously stated, the video was being sent personally not professionally. Attorney Anderson was not the intended recipient.
It is no secret that I have been trying to terminate her employment for more than a year from the Town of Pembroke Park due to her lack of knowledge regarding Town contracts and other such unprofessionalism. Melissa Anderson has also verbally attacked two male employees this year without repercussion since she was allowed to pick her own investigators. Her abysmal behavior has cost the town upwards of $8,000 in investigations where she herself was unable to answer questions claiming she "didn’t remember!"
Melissa Anderson is projecting hatred onto me that I do not possess. I am the one who insisted upon diversity for my town. I expect professionalism from all those employed here no matter their unique identifications. Because of her own hatred toward me, she was given written instruction not to communicate with me except in our public forum on the dais. She has continued to bombard me with derogatory names and vicious attacks. Anderson has even gone so far as to physically chase me through the parking lot after commission meetings and again was verbally warned to stay away. I find her behavior disturbing, startling, and desperate. I believe Anderson has not been truthful with the commission and the most recent example of this was with the BSO contract. Even the attorneys from the Broward Sheriff’s Office accused Anderson of misstating the truth to the commission.Pembroke Park Mayor Geoffrey Jacobs, statement to Local 10 News
Jacobs also provided a screenshot of the text conversation between him and Anderson:
Anderson declined our request for an on-camera interview.
Jacobs did as well.
In an email to Local 10 News, the mayor said, in part, that he was out of town and said he has “other issues to deal with in town, and this is not the highest priority.”
Jacobs did not address why he emailed the TikTok video to the town attorney.