TAMPA, FL. – A dysfunctional relationship between an anger management expert and a former anger management intern, has resulted in a heated lawsuit filed pro se on January 10 in Hillsborough County.
The suit was filed by Barry Altman, a black minister who was an intern student for the lawsuit’s co-defendant, Dr. Gordon Albert Pilet, Ph.D., LCSW, 71, who Altman served with for three years, according to a brief interview with Pilet, founder of Interventions Enterprises, an anger management organization located at 1016 West Hillsborough Avenue.
Pilet said, “He was here until five or six years ago. He was released for inappropriate behavior.” When The Free Press inquired about the behavioral problems, Pilet replied, “He was charging clients for services when he was not authorized.”
Pilet, and his estranged wife Carey, also a co-defendant in the case, co-authored a book called “Anger! How to Control It Before It Controls You!” according to the organization’s website.
Altman’s legal counts against the Pilet’s are extensive.
First, Altman accuses Gordon Pilet of extortion, attempted witness tampering, and perjury, pertaining to a February 2021 incident in which Gordon Pilet was charged in June by the State of Florida for misdemeanor battery. Pilet has pleaded “not guilty.”
According to a Criminal Report Affidavit filed by the Tampa Police Department, a video produced by a cell phone owned by the alleged victim – the 35-year-old son of Pilet’s neighbor – shows Pilet at his neighbor’s house acting as the aggressor in a dispute over a barking dog and “hoarding.”
The police affidavit stated, “…a verbal altercation ensued at which time the victim requested the defendant to leave the property numerous times, but he refused. The victim began to video record the defendant (Pilet) via phone at which time the defendant produced his middle finger and displayed it towards the victim. The victim then told the defendant to put his finger away. At this time, the defendant is seen on video gritting his teeth and moving aggressively towards the victim. The victim’s phone then fell to the floor and continued recording. The recording shows the defendant and victim being separated by the victim’s mother. While attempting to be separated, both the victim and the defendant continue to attempt to strike each other, but the recording stops with the defendant being pushed away by the victim. Based on the video surveillance, it appears the defendant was the primary aggressor…both parties suffered minor injuries.”
Altman’s lawsuit states that for a period of time after this altercation which he did not witness, Pilet tried to convince him to falsely claim he had witnessed the incident. Altman claims he was a paying tenant at Pilet’s house and was in Pilet’s back yard during the unseen altercation.
But a copy of what appears to be a note from Pilet to Altman presents what Altman declares is a fake story conjured up by Pilet, for Altman to disclose as a testifying witness to authorities.
Altman then claims that Pilet tried to sweeten the pot by offering him a part of his company, Interventions, Inc. Altman claims in the suit he declined, repeatedly telling Pilet he would not falsely testify. Instead, he suggested that Pilet offer an out-of-court settlement, which he claims Pilet refused due to being cash poor.
Pilet allegedly approached Altman again, stating that he would offer him free office space for the pursuit of work since Pilet had returned to Tampa from Detroit. Altman states in his lawsuit the free space was “payment for the perjury he wanted me to commit.” The relationship deteriorated with Pilet allegedly ordering Altman out of his house, only to allegedly beg for medication money later and reinstatement of their friendship.
Matters went from bad to worse when Pilet expected Altman to clean the pool while another tenant, a female, was present and wished to swim. Charging Pilet with domestic violence, civil rights violations, racial discrimination, and fraud, Altman said he refused to comply, only to be told by Pilet, “Get the f—k outta my house!”
Altman claims Pilet called him racial slurs while mimicking an African chant. Altman claims he and the female tenant went outside, only to find that Pilet had locked him out of the house by placing a broomstick in a glass door entry’s handles and placing barstools at the entry of the house.
Altman stated in his lawsuit he was locked out of the main house due to Pilet’s actions. Altman claims he called the police, and that Pilet removed the entrance barriers before their arrival. Pilet then allegedly told the police that Altman had not paid rent, but Altman’s text receipts disproved Pilet’s lie. After the police left, Pilet allegedly told Altman, “Get the f—k outta my house.”
Altman claims Pilet continued harassment after he returned to Detroit for two days. Fed up, he allegedly called Pilet’s attorney to complain, which Altman claims prompted the attorney to ask Pilet to stop the harassment.
Carey Pilet allegedly imposed civil rights violations against Altman by improperly giving a seven-day notice to Altman to vacate.
Altman’s version of the story impresses that she invaded his rental space without notice or permission. He also claims military men appeared on two occasions with Carey when demands to leave the house were made. Altman claims that ultimately the police were once again called onto Pilet’s property and allegedly warned the Pilet’s that their behavior over removing Altman and his possessions from the house was bordering on criminal conduct.
In contrast, accompanying exhibits of the lawsuit show text messages where Pilet is advising Altman, “Be advised I would prefer you NOT live with me! Be advised. I chose not to have a tenant who tells me he will say whatever he wants to say when he wants to say it…Barry find somewhere else to live. I really do not want to talk about this. If I owe you money I will refund.”
Other deteriorating events occurred, according to the lawsuit with other legal counts, including alleged HIPAA violations.
Both Plaintiff and Defendant, in this case, own histories of criminal conduct.
In USA v. Pilet, Magistrate Judge Case Number 8:94-mj-00573, Pilet swiped various computer software programs from MacDill Air Force Base. They were sold for profit through a cooperating computer shop owner. The products were then sold to consumers. At that time, in 1992, Pilet was a U.S. Air Force Major. He was arrested for the offense on January 9, 1995. On June 28, 1996, he was sentenced to one-year probation and 150 hours of community service with fines waived. A special assessment of $50 was issued, and he was to remain deployable.
Altman was arrested in 2007 for burglary of an occupied building and battery. Previous arrests include battery and federal littering.
The defense attorney in the case is not known.