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Apodaca suit against Entravision is dismissed

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — A recently dismissed lawsuit reveals tensions between potential gubernatorial candidate Jeff Apodaca and the executives of Entravision, the Spanish-language media company where he was employed as executive vice president until May of this year.

Jeff Apodaca, the son of former Gov. Jerry Apodaca and a possible candidate for the 2018 New Mexico Democratic gubernatorial nomination, filed suit in August against Entravision Communications Corp. and two Entravision employees, alleging breach of contract and wrongful separation, among other violations. On Dec. 27, the Second Judicial District Court dismissed the lawsuit with prejudice, rendering Apodaca unable to sue the defendants on the same grounds in the future.

Ben Silva, Apodaca’s attorney, said the lawsuit was dismissed because “the matter had been resolved,” though he declined to elaborate further.

In the lawsuit, Apodaca alleged he was fired in retaliation for complaining to human resources about “harassment, bullying, and intimidation” from Mario Carrera, Entravision’s chief revenue officer.

According to the complaint: “During Mr. Apodaca’s time as (executive vice president), he was subject to . . . demeaning comments, threatening emails, abusive language, and attempts to undermine Mr. Apodaca’s credibility with senior management at (Entravision).”

Also named in the lawsuit is Jason Gassner, who was a senior vice president of sales at Entravision during Apodaca’s employment. Apodaca alleges both Gassner and Carrera made false accusations against him that were then used to support Apodaca’s termination.

The company initially told Apodaca it was ending his employment for performance reasons, though Apodaca said in the complaint that the only performance review he received was given during his last day of work. Entravision also said Apodaca made inappropriate comments during a March 2016 golf outing, which he states in the lawsuit that he never would have made “considering that his own family are members of the group that his alleged inappropriate comments were directed toward.”

The other parties involved in the lawsuit did not respond to a request for comment.