Burgin, KY– For the second time in just over a month, a Kentucky politician is in trouble for allegedly sexually harassing a subordinate female employee. In this this instance, it is the Mayor of Burgin and small town located in central Kentucky.
Mayor Dale Turner Jr. and the city have been hit by a civil suit by Assistant City Clerk Jackie Taylor after she alleges she was subjected to unwanted touching and propositions for sex by the mayor, Central Kentucky News reported. Taylor also alleges the city fostered a hostile working environment by allowing the harassment to persist at the Burgin City Hall.
According to the complaint, Taylor, who worked at city hall for five years, noticed the environment had changed once Turner took his post in 2011, and she was subjected to inappropriate sexual comments and touching.
In her lawsuit, Taylor alleges that Mayor Turner touched her inappropriately on two occasions by slapping her on the buttocks. While Taylor was standing at a copier in city hall, Turner came up and slapped her on the buttocks; he then followed her into a supply closet where he slapped her on the behind again, the complaint states. When she told the City Attorney, Tom Hensley, about the incidents, but neither he nor the city council took appropriate actions, Central Kentucky News reported.
On another occasion, Mayor Turner called City Hall and told Taylor and another female employee they “better be naked” when he got back to the office. Turner also told Taylor, who had recently lost weight and was trying to purchase a house boat, that “if she continued to look the way she does he would like to go on the houseboat alone with her.”
The complaint states that Taylor is “happily married” and never met with Turner outside of work. It also states that Taylor “did not wear provocative clothing or act in any way to warrant the kind of conduct expressed by Turner.”
Central Kentucky News reported that in addition to telling Hensley about Turner’s misconduct, Taylor also had a private meeting with city council members who vowed to conduct an investigation.
In November of 2012, Taylor filed a formal complaint and in December Hensley informed her that the allegations were “without merit.”
In her lawsuit, Taylor is asking for compensation for “severe mental and emotional distress, loss of enjoyment of life and personal humiliation.”
Mayor Turner is not the only Kentucky politician to face allegations of sexual harassment. In late August, three employees who work at the state’s Capitol Annex came forward accusing State Representative John Arnold of sexual misconduct.
The three women allege that Arnold subjected them to inappropriate comments and touching. Arnold once grabbed one of the women’s underwear while walking up step in Capitol building in front of another lawmaker. The women also said Arnold, 68, solicited them for sex on numerous occasions.
As is common in these cases, when the women reported the misconduct, Arnold was only reprimanded and no meaningful action was taken against him.