A museum director struck, beat, pinched, pushed, grabbed and verbal employees and was allowed to keep his job for two years, even after employees reported the abuse.
James A. Cincotta, the former director of retail at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, was routinely insulting, say 14 current and former museum staff who have raised the allegations.
Some employees admitted that there were times when they thought he was joking when he played, but there were other times when he wasn’t.
James A. Cincotta, the former director of retail at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, routinely abused, say 14 current and former museum staff who have raised the allegations
Cincotta, 57, was examined in 2016 for beating a 20-something gift shop assistant at the back of her head, who brought the woman in tears, the Philadelphia researcher reports.
The woman stopped the next day and, despite an investigation, Cincotta was allowed to continue working for another two years, the researcher reports.
The allegations were raised last month during a staff meeting at the museum to insure employees, after Joshua Helmer, another former director accused of misconduct, resigned.
Timothy Rub, director and director of Museum Art, had called the meeting to say that the institution is making serious complaints about harassment in the workplace.
Then during the meeting, staff members began to ask why Cincotta’s alleged misconduct was allowed to continue for so long.
Cincotta, who was released from the museum in 2018, did not respond immediately when DailyMail.com contacted.
A spokesperson for the museum confirmed Cincotta’s departure from the museum on June 18, 2018, but refused to work out due to confidentiality issues related to human resources, the investigator reports.
Cincotta has been at the museum since 2015 and oversaw gift shops and store inventory with an annual salary of $ 161,000, making him one of the institution’s best-paid employees, according to the tax return.
His LinkedIn page reports that he has achieved “crucial strategic elements” while in the museum, including “producing a profitable business, clearing the balance (inventory), restructuring the organization, bringing all technology to the 21st century, a new one e building-commerce business, and making a redesign and new architectural drawings for future stores’.
Staff members who spoke to the investigator say they suspect that despite his accusations, he was allowed to continue his work because the museum leadership was satisfied with his work.
Accusations against a James A. Cincotta, a former director of the Philadelphia Museum of Art (photo), came forward last month during a staff meeting at the museum to insure employees, after another former director accused of unrelated misconduct had resigned
Employees of the Philadelphia Museum of Art asked questions about the continued employment of Cincotta after reports emerged of another former director, Joshua Helmer, (photo) who resigned after being confronted with unrelated allegations of misconduct
Nine former and current employees said they saw Cincotta employees grab or hit. Ten current and former employees said they had reported physical or verbal violence to human resources.
Three employees said they lost their jobs after reporting Cincotta, and were suspected that their complaints had caused the termination.
His management style, says people who worked for Cincotta, included threats by firing employees, shouting at people for making mistakes and mocking those who are up against the director.
Some employees admitted that they were unsure of how to respond when Cincotta physically struck people because he usually behaved like a joke.
A man allegedly slapped in the face by Cincotta, who was his boss, said after an hour after an event that he had postponed reporting of the incident because he thought it had happened “playfully.”
Marianne Brown, who worked in the retail trade and left in 2016, told the researcher that Cincotta regularly engaged colleagues during morning meetings and even bruised a male colleague.
Consultant Julie Lederman, who worked for the museum wholesale in 2015, told the researcher that Cincotta would sneak up to her while she sat at a desk, pinched the side of her thigh and laughed.
She said she had asked him to quit five times before indicating that they had been pinched on people along with other inappropriate behavior.
“I told them all the complaints they got about James were real,” she said. “I said,” You have to take this stuff seriously. People are physically injured and verbally tortured. “”
A man who worked in shipping complained that he saw Cincotta beat colleagues on the arm and hit them on the back.
In 2016, the worker said he shared good news with Cincotta, who responded by striking him with both hands in a festive gesture and knocking the wind out of him.
“I was like that” “What the hell was that?” “The workman,” said Sean McBride. “We are not in a bar, we are not in a brotherhood, we are not friends and we are not watching a football match. We are here to work. This is a store. In a museum. “
McBride finally reported the incident and submitted notes about Cincotta’s behavior. He said he later learned that his position was being broken down and that Cincotta blamed the museum and said it was eliminating “deadweight.”
The incident in which the gift shop employee was beaten on the back of the head occurred for a year in Cincotta’s tenure in the museum. A worker in the room claimed that she heard the museum director talking angry and then a loud clapping sound.
When she turned around, she saw the woman in tears, the researcher reports.
Another maid remembered that the woman was crying when Cincotta screamed in her face. She did not respond to a request for comment, the researcher reports.
Two employees told the news that they had reported the story to them, and three former employees said they had witnessed the aftermath.
One of them, Francesca Savini, said she was working when she heard what had happened and asked the woman if she wanted to report this to the authorities.
“She was crying and shaking,” Savini said. “She said,” I just want to go home. “
Eric Davidson, who ran the gift shop, said when he heard that Cincotta “hit someone in the head,” he rushed to the stage and told the woman what had happened.
The woman left the job and never came back. Davidson said he had prepared a report to HR and that an investigation had started. Cincotta meanwhile continued to work.
“Nothing happens for a long time,” Davidson said. “How does someone touch someone, and everyone knows it, and nothing happens?”
An HR officer raised those complaints at a retail department meeting that spring and said Cincotta would continue to do its job.
“I said,” What should we do when he hits someone again? “Savini said, saying goodbye to the museum shortly thereafter. She added that the human resources officer had “wiped us off.” She was very dismissive.
Six people who attended said that the HR officer claimed that the allegations were not substantiated, but that Cincotta would undergo sensitivity training.
“I can’t remember if she said the words that we should” go further, “but that was definitely the crux of what was being said,” McBride said.
“Then we knew that HR was not there to help us.”
Brown reported Cincotta to human resources after he started asking her to take him to places, she said. She then said in August 2016 that she heard that her job was being eliminated and she was offered another museum position at a significant pay cut.
She was then 60 and believed that she would work in the museum until her retirement. She stopped instead.
Staffers said they had not been told why Cincotta left the museum in 2018. He has since been enrolled in a business analysis course at Harvard, according to LinkedIn.
However, he became a member of a Collab board that provided donations to the museum and remained present at the meetings and events of the institution.
Those who assumed he had lost his job because of the allegations against him said they were shocked to see Cincotta again.
Last fall, two museum employees warned HR when they saw him in the building.
An email sent to security by a museum educator in November reports the investigator and described him as a “known threat to those who work here.”
Several executives said they believed the Cincotta museum was finally forbidden to return after reports of inappropriate behavior about a former assistant director, Joshua R. Helmer, who resigned but would find similar allegations while working as director of the Erie Art Museum in Erie, where he is still employed.