CHICAGO (CBS) — Chicago Police officers recently stopped by a doggy daycare business to talk to the owner, who said she was groped and sexually harassed by a state inspector.
Just over a week ago, we showed you surveillance video of one of the incidents.
READ MORE: Chicago Weather: Dry And Not As Hot
Aeslin Pup Hub owner Leah Bindig accused Illinois Department of Agriculture Inspector Jose Guillen of groping and sexually harassing her during an inspection of her business.
Bindig has three locations and counting — in Bucktown, Noble Square, and Ukrainian Village. Because she provides overnight boarding, she is required to have an annual inspection by the Illinois Department of Agriculture. Guillen, who had been on the job since 2014, was the department’s only inspector for Cook County.
Bindig’s first encounter was a surprise inspection in 2018. But what should have taken just a few minutes took much, much longer – because Bindig says Guillen started getting personal during their inspection.
She said he asked if she “was single,” and whether she might be free to meet up.
“I knew that like there was a line being crossed, but I was repeatedly reminded by him that he was the only inspector,” Bindig said.
And before she got the “pass,” he asked for a hug.
“One of those hugs that all women know are very uncalled for and inappropriate,” Bindig said. “I didn’t know what to do, so I just like let it happen and be over.”
If this story sounds unbelievable, it suddenly became more believable in 2019 – when Guillen came for his next annual inspection. This time, their encounter was, by chance, captured on the store’s surveillance cameras.
“I have a laptop and I was showing him, you know, turning the laptop to show him the vaccination records for certain dogs, and he felt that he needed to see them on the other side of the counter,” Bindig said.
Surveillance video shows Guillen inching closer, until they were touching.
“Then he starts putting his hand on my shoulder, on my arm, on my back,” Bindig said. “I’m being inspected. I’m not being – we’re not on a date.”
Video shows that Bindig started backing into the corner, pressed up against the water cooler.
“I was literally told we have everything we needed, showed him where we had it posted that people should have vaccination on file and stuff like that. And it should have been done. Why was it another 40 to 50 minutes that he stayed here?” Bindig said. “He asked to see a photo of me in a bikini. … You know like, do I have to show you that in order to ‘pass’ and run my business that I’ve worked so hard for?”
And then Bindig said Guillen requested another hug. At one point, the video shows his hand moving from her arm to her rear end.
“Why does a state inspector have their hands on me?” Bindig said. “He’s holding the clipboard as he’s hugging me, and he’s not signed off yet that we passed – and I’m like: ‘So what do I do? What do I do? Tell him to stop?’”
A few days after the report by CBS 2 Investigator Megan Hickey about the incidents aired, Guillen was fired.
It has been three months since Bindig initially filed a complaint.
Source: CBS Chicago