Jacinta Lee is a former newsreader with Capital Radio in Canberra.
He strongly denies allegations against him and has consulted lawyers.
Former 2CA present Frank Vincent.
Separately, more than 10 current and former employees have told Fairfax Media young journalists faced unreasonable treatment by some managers and senior staff, including Vincent, and concerns raised by a delegation of staff in 2013 were not properly dealt with.
Former presenter Mike Welsh said he quit his on-air role four years ago after raising concerns about treatment of young journalists and producers.
He said general manager Michael Jones and program director Pete Davidson failed to deal properly with serious complaints and were hostile when simple mistakes were made.
Welsh said junior staff were told they should “grow a pair” or “get a sense of humour” when they complained.
Former 2CA radio presenter Mike Welsh.
Current and former staff say an investigation last year into Lee’s allegation of sexual harassment did not result in action against Vincent.
The results of the probe by an external consultant have not been released.
The board of controling company Radio Canberra said it only received the report after questions this week, but Fairfax Media has been told Jones was handed the report in mid-2017.
He declined to comment about internal matters, despite repeated requests.
Lee told the investigator Vincent hugged her during early morning shifts – with his groin near her face as she sat – and kissed her on her forehead at least once.
The 23-year-old felt physically unsafe around Vincent, who she says yelled and swore at her, bragging to listeners about having her phone number, and asking if she was “ready to be molested”.
Many of the claims are corroborated by other staff and were outlined in Lee’s formal interview in February 2017.
She left 2CA in June – her first job in the media – after eight months.
“At first it was like working with an inappropriate uncle or someone who says things that are a little off, but you sort of shrug. It got progressively worse and I felt more and more uncomfortable.
“He would hug me pretty much every day when he got into work. This is 4 in the morning, there was no one else there… he would always hug me while I was sitting down so I’d be face to face with his crotch.
“When I told Michael Jones about what was going on with Frank I feel like he didn’t register the complaints as serious.
“Even though there was an investigation and they tried to get to the bottom of it, as soon as my complaints were passed on, that’s where it ended,” she said.
Lee said Vincent was viewed as “untouchable”.
“None of us knew why he was protected, why Michael Jones saw something special in him, but he was untouchable.
“I was very visibly uncomfortable and when I put a complaint in, he knew I was uncomfortable. His responses was to just laugh it off and make me feel like I was being ridiculous.”
Current and former staff say Vincent asked a junior journalist to deliver flowers to an estranged girlfriend in mid-2016.
Last month, Vincent – who has featured in station advertising under the nickname “Uncle Frank” – discussed allegations engulfing media personalities with a friend on-air.
Jokingly asked whether he was worried about complaints emerging from his time at Sydney’s Triple M in the 1980s, Vincent laughed and said, “It’s already happened, it wasn’t newsworthy though.”
Some staff say they enjoy working at Capital Radio, one describing Vincent’s behaviour as eccentric but not inappropriate.
One former employee, who asked not to be named, backed Lee’s complaints about Vincent’s behaviour and said managers had allowed Lee to read news headlines from another studio, so she did not need to be in the same room as him.
“We felt he is quite difficult at the best of times. Jacinta felt very uncomfortable around him and the reaction was piss weak,” he said.
“There’s an overriding sense that no matter what happens, Frank is very well looked after and protected. We couldn’t understand that.”
Vincent’s replacement is yet to be named after listeners were told of his sacking on Tuesday.
Welsh says his career suffered because of his decision to quit, but felt he couldn’t stay after making a series of complaints about treatment of staff over a two-year period, before Vincent was hired in 2014.
“There was yelling and screaming, staff going home and crying to their mother in Sydney or whatever. They’d come to me as someone senior,” he said.
“Each time I went to Jones he said “that’s just Pete, you know what he’s like, Pete doesn’t have good people skills”.
“I said to Michael Jones there was a staff member in the foetal position at 3am, crying and not wanting to come to work. He asked me ‘is that bullying?'”
The veteran broadcaster said when one journalist asked for maternity leave, managers said she should have used a condom and asked who the baby’s father was.
In a separate complaint, a staff member told management in August 2017 that Vincent had targeted him, taunted him in meetings and intimidated him after he complained about Vincent’s behaviour.
Current and former employees say Vincent mocked the man, hiding his work notes and other belongings.
Jones has received complaints about Vincent from listeners and people outside the stations.
He told staff CCTV cameras were being installed in the 2CA studio in August.
One complaint related to an on-air joke about American entertainer Dick van Dyke, when Vincent asked Lee whether she would wear a T-shirt that said “I love Dick”.
Former presenter Greg Robson, who quit the station last month, said staff discussed Vincent’s behaviour.
“Jacinta has told me what Frank did, which I believe was in the early hours of the morning and before anyone else got in the building, acting inappropriately to her.
“I know that in the course of the past 12 months, there’d be at least 30 or 40 written complaints about various things that Frank has said, about his presentation style on-air.”
Robson says Jones yelled at staff unfairly.
“I don’t know of many workplaces where people get yelled at but it happens.
“I think it empowered [Vincent]. His management style empowered the person who was doing the wrong thing to continue to do the wrong thing. ”
Fairfax Media put questions to Jones, Davidson, Vincent and the station owners.
After Vincent was sacked, the company said board members received a copy of the independent investigator’s report this week.
“Following receipt of this report, the directors unanimously agreed to take immediate action,” a statement said.
“Radio Canberra Pty Ltd has today terminated the employment of Frank Vincent with immediate effect.
“The directors of Radio Canberra Pty Ltd are committed to providing a safe workplace for all staff.
“The directors have determined to review current workplace policies and procedures and to implement training for all staff regarding their workplace rights.”