Cindra J. Suiter, a former employee of the Logan County Detention Center, filed a civil suit in September in the United States District Court against Logan County Deputy Jailer Dewayne Reynolds claiming sexual harassment. She also names Logan County Jailer Bill Jenkins in the suit, claiming he failed to protect her civil rights. Suiter also claims there was a violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act and intentional infliction of emotional distress.
She is seeking a jury trial, back payment, the value of lost employment benefits, compensatory damages in the amount of $250,000 and punitive damages in the amount of $250,000.
Suiter filed a similar civil suit in the state court system; however, in 2011 her claims were dismissed by Logan County Circuit Judge Tyler Gill.
The defendants’ attorneys, Joe Ross and Mac Johns, filed their response and a motion to dismiss the federal case last week, saying it had no merit.
Suiter, who is asking for a jury trial on the federal level after having been denied one on the state level, claims four years after her employment (June 2004), she began to receive sexual advances from Reynolds, according to the complaint filed in federal court.
She claims that Reynolds, on several occasions, made both verbal and physical sexual advances towards her including touching her without her consent, comments about her physical appearance, repeated requests for dates, questions regarding her personal life, including sexual activities, overall lewd and offensive behavior (flirtatious commentary, sexually explicit jokes and statements).
According to Suiter’s complaint, she warned Reynolds on numerous occasions that she wanted him to stop his conduct. She claims she made verbal complaints with a captain and the chief deputy at the jail and also that she discussed at length her complaints with jailer Bill Jenkins.
Suiter, in her complaint, claims that while waiting to hear a judgement from the state suit, she was continuously placed in close proximity to Reynolds and she would encounter him on a regular basis in the course of performing her job duties. She claims that Reynolds continued to make comments to her and she felt her civil rights were being violated because she was not separated from her harasser and the filing of the lawsuit resulted in her being mocked and ridiculed by her superiors at the jail.
Suiter sought and continued counseling she says because of the harassment she was receiving while on the job due to emotional distress she was undergoing in her work environment. In the complaint, Suiter said based on her psychologist’s recommendation she took disability leave.
Suiter was terminated from employment with the jail on June 6, 2011. Because of her termination, she claims a violation of American with Disabilities Act.
The motion to dismiss the federal case by the defendants’ attorneys uses the state’s dismissal of Suiter’s case for a jury trial as its foundation. The lengthy document of summery judgement by Judge Gill goes into detail of events pertaining to Suiter’s claims of sexual harassment.
Gill’s judgement details Jenkins investigation of Suiter’s original harassment claims and Jenkins “believes Suiter to be an opportunist using Reynolds acknowledged past harassment of a different jail employee to piggyback her unsubstantiated and untruthful claim.”
Jenkins also concluded that “Suiter talked about sex with everyone at the jail and used ‘street language’ when discussing sexual topics.”
Judge Gill also quoted several items uncovered in Jenkins investigation of Suiter’s claims, including:
- The employee who trained Suiter said that Suiter “told the former employee in 2004 that she heard about the men at the jail and stated that if any of the men tried anything, she would hire a Bowling Green attorney and sue the jail.”
- Suiter asked an inmate to give her a neck massage, which was caught on camera.
- Suiter was involved in a sexual relationship with another employee at the jail.
- Suiter also accused Captain Russell Offutt of sexual harassment in 2006. He denied that claim and said that “she was looking for a sexual harassment claim on somebody because her mother had money for an attorney.”