Following Suits

Valls isn't the only former employee who has made allegations against Dougherty. Two of his investigators in Guatemala have signed affidavits alleging that Dougherty offered to pay them thousands of dollars if they could arrange to have one of Bilbeisi's associates roughed up and another arrested on drug charges.

Dougherty has vehemently denied these claims to other reporters.
But his problems with former employees show no signs of abating. In January 1993 he was accused in a letter to the U.S. Labor Department by two of his ex-employees, Manthia Baskerville and Ken Powell, of withholding nearly $30,000 in pension funds after firing them. Their letter to the Labor Department was later forwarded to the Florida Bar. Baskerville and Powell have since received their money. The Bar, however, has halted its investigation until the Labor Department releases its findings.

Inevitably, those who have worked for Dougherty characterize him as verbally abusive and, at times, violent. Former employees note that he would routinely hurl racial slurs at his minority staff, break phones, and throw furniture. For this reason, not one of the dozen former employees interviewed by New Times would agree to be quoted by name. But they all pointed to the remarkable turnover in Dougherty's office as evidence of how difficult a boss he is. "I'll say this," notes one ex-employee. "The man pays very well. Then again, he has to, because it's basically combat pay.

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