Polo Club Has Not Denied Accuracy Of Kitchen Photos Published Last Week
BY: ANDREW COLTON | Editor and Publisher
BOCA RATON, FL (BocaNewsNow.com) — Polo Club Boca Raton took the extraordinary measure of firing an employee who spoke to the news media about what may be massive COVID-19 violations in and around the Polo Club Country Club and residential development.
The staffer, a long time technical maintenance employee, was terminated Tuesday. The Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office was called to escort him off property, as seen in the photo above. We are awaiting word from PBSO to clarify why deputies were involved with a first amendment issue.
Polo Club came under fire late last week when we published leaked photos showing members of the cooking staff not wearing masks, wearing masks around their necks but not mouths, or otherwise disobeying Palm Beach County Executive Orders in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Multiple calls for comment were not returned to BocaNewsNow.com prior to — and after — we published the photos. Polo Club has not denied the accuracy of the photos.
Upon seeing the images of kitchen staffers not complying with county directives, the maintenance technician reached out to BocaNewsNow.com to share his passionate concern.
“My father almost died from COVID-19,” he said. “These homeowners deserve better than employees who are not wearing masks while preparing food.”
The maintenance tech told BocaNewsNow.com that the Polo Club kitchens are — or have been — preparing food for charitable organizations including Boca Helping Hands and area hospitals.
“How would hospital workers feel if they knew their food (from Polo Club) was being prepared by kitchen workers not wearing masks?” he asked.
The fired technician was apparently called into a meeting Tuesday morning to ask if he was the source of BocaNewsNow.com’s original reporting and photographs. He attempted to tape the conversation but was told that he could not. The maintenance tech said he was told that he was fired, but not given a reason why. A security guard later told him, according to his account, that he was terminated for his “attitude” during the meeting.
Telephone messages left Tuesday for HR Director Terry Borowski and General Manager Kate Berry were also not immediately returned.
The maintenance technician’s name was never used in BocaNewsNow.com’s original reporting which included information from multiple sources over several weeks. He said he expressed concern to management about COVID compliance previously but was rebuffed multiple times. Florida’s Department of Business and Professional Regulation inspected Polo Club the day after our first report and found two kitchen violations.
The now fired staffer says it’s important that Polo Club homeowners and guests understand that while COVID-19 compliance is being followed by some employees, it is absolutely not being followed by all.
“I am aware of (staffers) who were supposed to be quarantined but were not,” he said. “They’re trying to keep it secret. Homeowners have no idea.”
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