During his time working for Aspen, LaRoche allegedly overhead Noga use homophobic slurs, including “faggot,” “pussy” and “sissy” several times in conversations with others. In 2012, during a conversation with Aspen’s then COO, Brian Nolan, he corrected Brian’s assumption that he had a wife and told him that he, in fact, had a husband.
Nolan then proceeded to ask LaRoche if he had any intention to tell Noga, and when he told him that he would, Nolan laughed and stated “Oh…Please let me be there when you tell Andy!” According to LaRoche’s court statement, it was clear to him from Brian’s response (both verbal and physical) that he expected Noga to have a negative response to this information.
Shortly after this interaction, LaRoche informed Noga of his sexual orientation. At this point, Noga’s demeanor allegedly stiffened and his facial expression clearly conveyed that he was “uncomfortable and displeased.” At this point, Noga all but stopped interacting with LaRoche.
Soon thereafter, LaRoche’s former colleague from Aspen showed him an article detailing Mark Groenheide’s allegations that Noga had discriminated against him because of his sexual orientation during his time at GuideOne. LaRoche went on to state that “Although I do not know Groenheide, I felt it was important to go on the record because the homophobic conduct he experienced with Noga was similar to my own experience with Noga.”