Museum of Contemporary Art director placed on paid leave amid investigation

Sources say city investigating Babacar M'Bow after sexual harassment complaints

By Michael Seiden - Reporter

NORTH MIAMI, Fla. - The executive director of the Museum of Contemporary Art in North Miami will be paid to stay at home while city officials investigate complaints filed against him.

Babacar M'Bow was placed on paid administrative leave Dec. 10.

"A complaint has been filed against you," interim City Manager Arthur Sorey wrote in a memorandum to M'Bow. "An investigation of this complaint will be conducted. You are not permitted to come to MOCA, City Hall or any city events until this investigation is concluded."

Sources told Local 10 News that city officials are investigating complaints of sexual harassment.

"It is office misconduct," Sorey told Local 10 News. "Once the investigation is concluded, we will make a determination of what the allegations are and we will make our decision on how to move forward."

Councilman Scott Galvin said the administration "felt strongly enough about the allegations" to issue the memo.

"I know they've been interviewing people inside the museum to get a feel for what happened," Galvin said.
Local 10 News contacted M'Bow by telephone. M'Bow, who was on a business trip in Bogota, Colombia, said he had a bad connection.

Despite the allegations, M'Bow's colleagues are coming to his defense.

"I can tell you that I'm proud to be working for Babacar M'Bow," Adrienne von Lates, who serves as MOCA's assistant director for education and international programs, told Local 10 News. "I've worked with him for two years now, and he's shown himself to be a man of high character and integrity and high morals. I think whatever is happening is exaggerated."

Sorey said MOCA assistant director Alan Waufle was also placed on paid administrative leave because of office misconduct.

The city said it's unclear how long the investigation will last.

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