After the publication of the expose’ of how would-be publisher Larry Patterson scammed a half dozen employees out of their pay, three more have come forward to SFGN with stories of employee abuse and his drug use.
Sadly, the stories of woe repeat a pattern published on these pages last week. All the employees were taken in by a quick hire, the promise of pay, and nothing tangible ever reaching the desk.
Patterson’s harassment did not limit itself to the men he described as “butch boys” and “fukin amazing” [sic].
A woman, Diana Morrison, was blown away by Patterson’s stunning conduct. Hired on the spot, after a five minute interview, Morrison was recruited as an Executive Assistant, only to come into work the next day to find out that she had been hired as a writer.
“I told him I had no writing experience, though,” she said. “I have a background in TV advertising.” Morrison told SFGN that Patterson was “always talking about my breasts,” so much so “I forced myself to wear a sweatshirt, a jacket, some type of “covering” because he was harassing me.”
“This was not playful,” Morrison said, “No, I felt harassed, like the guys did. He was a dirty old man on another level.” Morrison says Patterson talked about being bisexual, often speaking of an ex wife to whom he claimed giving money after a recent settlement.
“I was told I would be paid on February 26, Friday. When there was no paycheck then he promised a check on March 2. When there was no money again he swore that we would see money the next day.” It never happened. She was never paid.
Once she began her two week stint with Patterson, Morrison found out she was also required to pick him up in the morning from the Hurricane Hotel and drop him off there at night.
One of those drives brought about a startling revelation. “He pointed out a crack head then started talking about how he did crack and that you couldn’t tell the difference from when he smoked crack and was sober because he acted the same,” she said. Another employee also told SFGN that he had to move crack pipes off the desks next to the computer at the Wilton Executive Suites. His former landlord at the hotel confirmed that the abandoned room was “populated with drug paraphernalia.”
A complaint has now been filed against Patterson for living in the office building he may only rent. Code Enforcement for Wilton Manors is investigating the allegation, confirmed by five of his former employees.
Morrison left her job on March 8 when her co-workers also decided not to go into work. She contacted the Department of Labor, now investigating the matter.
Another short term victim was Francisco Andrade, an architect. When he told his would-be employer he was an architect, and had no experience as an Executive Assistant, Patterson said that was great.
“He needed an architect to design some spaces for him. I sent the resume and he called me back in 2 minutes, told me to come in that afternoon.”
When Andrade arrived he met another architect in the lobby on his way to see Patterson. When they reached the offices of Wilton Drive Magazine a third architect awaited them.
“He was going to take over the old Social Security headquarters in the Shoppes at Wilton Manors and redevelop it into his offices, a chiropractic office, and gym with pool.” Patterson wanted to give Island City Fitness —whom Andrade says Patterson described as “those fuckers”—some competition.
“When we asked him how the office was supposed to function without what we needed, Patterson first said he was going to buy stuff,” Andrade added. “And when he did not he told the staff ‘If you can’t do a magazine with what I have, get the fuck out of here!’ Then I realized how unreal everything was and didn’t go back again.”
Andrade has since found work as an architect and hopes Patterson has not violated anyone else by “hiring them.” On the SFGN website however, yet another young man posted a comment last Thursday about how he too, had relocated from Ohio, came down seeking a job, and found Patterson’s words “empty and hollow.” Another victim, sadly.