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Ex-manager at PM’s residence sues Sara Netanyahu for mistreating workers

Yaakov Kadosh alleges improper conduct, racism in lawsuit; Netanyahus dismiss fresh claims as ‘malicious lies’ meant to undermine them before the election

Sara Netanyahu, wife of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu arrives to receive a Covid-19 vaccine, in Jerusalem, on December 24, 2020 (Aharon Krohn/Flash90)
Sara Netanyahu, wife of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu arrives to receive a Covid-19 vaccine, in Jerusalem, on December 24, 2020 (Aharon Krohn/Flash90)

A former manager at the Prime Minister’s Residence has filed a lawsuit alleging abuse by Sara Netanyahu of her workers.

The lawsuit by Yaakov Kadosh, who worked at the residence for five years, alleges that he was ordered by his superior, official residence manager Efi Azoulai, to record the conversations of other workers. Kadosh said he was also instructed to force workers to sign an affidavit in support of Sara Netanyahu as a condition for their continued employment.

The lawsuit, reported Sunday by Channel 12, also alleges mistreatment of other workers and racist conduct against employees of Ethiopian extraction, who were banned from working on the second floor on Sara Netanyahu’s orders.

Kadosh asserted in the suit that he was strong-armed into taking part in the “corrupt conduct” against workers at the residence.

Kadosh’s employment was terminated when he handed over complaints by workers to the Israel Police and state comptroller, and the company for which he worked, Moriya, was similarly dismissed.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his wife Sara addresses their supporters on the night of the Israeli elections, at the party headquarters in Tel Aviv, on March 3, 2020. (Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90)

The lawsuit claims that all staff at the residence, “from the junior to the senior, were aware of the serious abuse of the residence staff, including swearing, insults, violence, fines, and were aware of the drinking habits and fits of rage… and panic of Mrs. Netanyahu,” but chose to remain silent.

The Netanyahus denied the allegations on Sunday, calling the case “malicious lies and bloodletting of Sara Netanyahu on the eve of elections,” referring to the March 23 vote.

“The claims about her treatment of the Ethiopian community are baseless and lies,” the statement said.

Azoulai also called Kadosh’s claims “lies,” branding him a “manipulator and serial litigator,” while accusing him of trying to undermine the Netanyahus politically.

Several former employees have claimed mistreatment and abuse by the prime minister’s wife. The official residence’s former caretaker successfully sued her in the past for verbal and emotional abuse, as did another former worker.

Netanyahu faces a civil lawsuit from former employee Shira Raban, who claims that the premier’s wife mistreated her during a brief stint working at the residence. Raban seeks $63,000 in damages over alleged mistreatment and harassment.

In June 2019, Sara Netanyahu was convicted of misusing public funds as part of a plea deal in a case involving allegations that she illegally procured, and then misreported, catering services at the Prime Minister’s Residence.The agreement saw Netanyahu escape a conviction for aggravated fraud, but confess to a lesser charge of taking advantage of a mistake. She was ordered to pay NIS 55,000 ($15,210) to the state — NIS 10,000 as a fine, and the rest as restitution.

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