Two Dallas execs at center of national Latino chamber scandal

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Two prominent Dallas executives, Javier Palomarez and Nina Vaca, are at the center of a brewing personnel dispute at the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, according to court documents and published reports.

The nonprofit group that promotes Latino business interests, is reviewing allegations that its CEO Palomarez has engaged in sexual harassment and padded his salary, according to a January court filing in Dallas County District Court.

Vaca, chairman and CEO of Dallas-based Pinnacle Group, has been on the Hispanic Chamber’s board, but is no longer a member, according to the Chamber’s website. She is chairwoman of the Chamber’s Foundation, its philanthropic arm.

Palomarez has been president and CEO of the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Commerce, which represents more than 4.4 million Hispanic-owned businesses, and the business group’s Foundation since 2010.

Palomarez says that Vaca is behind the harassment charges and has led a campaign against him.  In Dallas County court filing, he said he is considering filing a lawsuit against Vaca and others associated with the chamber and foundation.

In the petition, which requests Vaca be deposed, Palomarez said that he believes she has defamed him before numerous members, directors and employees at both the chamber and its foundation.

Marcos Ronquillo, Palomarez’s attorney said he couldn’t comment on the pending legal matters. The petition asks for a court hearing.

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