Correctional officers are supposed to uphold the law and help offenders become better people. However, a correctional officer in Anne Arundel County did just the opposite and has now been charged of sexually harassing female co-workers. 51 year old Curtis Sylvester Godard has been accused of sexually harassing and exposing himself to several female co-workers at the Anne Arundel County Ordnance Road Correctional Facility.
The harassment is allegedly being going on for several months. One woman claims Godard kissed her against her will. Police have arrested Godard following interviews with the alleged victims. He has been charged on two counts of indecent exposure. Godard is also charged on one count of second degree assault and fourth-degree sex offense.
Court Dismisses Harassment Charges against Swedish Match Supervisor
An employee of Swedish Match North America, Inc., Donald Rickard filed a sexual harassment suit against his supervisor, Perry Payne. Rickard was employed in the sales department since 1984 and Payne joined as the retail team manager in 2007. Rickard alleged in his lawsuit that his supervisor was hostile towards him. He did not like Payne’s approach towards his job and claimed that he was more closely monitored than others.
The appraisals Rickard received from Payne was always below expectations, while he had been a good performer throughout the year, according to the complaint filed. Rickard was told to improve his job performance by Rickard who also allegedly threatened to fire him many times.
Payne also behaved in an inappropriate manner in 2010, when he grabbed and squeezed Rickard’s nipples saying that was a kind of sexual harassment, according to the complaint. Another time Payne rubbed a towel on his crotch and handed back the towel to Rickard, according to the lawsuit.
After these incidents, Rickard reported the matter to Payne’s supervisor who reprimanded him. Rickard said that he did not experience any harassment from Payne after complaining to his supervisor. However, Payne commented on the plaintiff’s age multiple times, and said that a lot more was expected from him since he had been in that company for a long time, according to Rickard.
Rickard received a final written notice from Payne in 2011 that his services would be terminated if his performance did not improve. Rickard cited his health problems to take leave and subsequently retired voluntarily. The lawsuit filed by Rickard claims that he suffered health problems because of the hostile environment and stress created by Payne.
No Evidence of Hostile Environment
Rickard then filed a lawsuit in the district court alleging hostile work environment and harassment based on age and sex, and violation of the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
However, the 8th Circuit did not find any evidence to support any of the claims made by Rickard. Comments on age did not amount to creating a hostile environment, according to the court. Since the plaintiff retired voluntarily and there was no formal communication from the company about his termination, the retaliation claims were also unfounded, as per the court’s ruling.
Also, there was no evidence that there was any sexual harassment, according to the court. Sexual harassment attorneys state that the case was dismissed due to lack of evidence.
Miami Gardens Police Chief Arrested for Prostitution
A former police chief Antonio Brooklen who was previously accused of sexual harassment and had been demoted, is now back as the chief of Miami Gardens Police Department. He has been made the interim chief to replace the current police Chief Stephen Johnson. Johnson wanted to have a threesome at a Dania Beach hotel and had replied to a BackPage.com prostitution night. The Sheriff’s office arrested him on charges of prostitution.
Sexual harassment attorneys state that Brooklen, and Miami Gardens Mayor Oliver G. Gilbert III have previously had sexual harassment charges and both are Omega Psi Phi fraternity brothers.