A state employee has filed a $2 million sexual harassment lawsuit against two Department of Corrections officials.
The U.S. District Court lawsuit, filed late Monday on behalf of Sheila Fry, alleges that her former boss, Lew Jolley, physically assaulted her on June 26, 1990, by grabbing her breast. But the assault was just an indication of the department's pattern and practice of sexual discrimination, intentionally engaging in "systematic disparate treatment of female employees," the suit alleges.Dave Francina, assistant director of corrections, said Tuesday morning officials hadn't yet read the lawsuit. Francina said it would be inappropriate to comment on the suit before reading it.
Jolley, correctional chief of investigations, retired Aug. 31, 1990.
The lawsuit also names Gary DeLand, corrections director, who "knew or should have known" of the ongoing sexual harassment of female employees, and "intentionally failed or refused to prevent" the violation of employees' civil rights.
The lawsuit alleges that last June 26, Jolley "forcefully grabbed plaintiff's breast against her will as well as engaging in statements in the nature of sexual insinuations and other harassment."
She transferred to the Utah Department of Transportation in January 1991.
The discrimination of female employees was a misuse of official power and violation of state policy, the lawsuit claims. Fry is seeking $1.5 million in punitive damages and $500,000 in compensatory damages.
In another case, the department agreed to pay Linda Dreitzler a $95,000 settlement after she filed a sexual harassment suit against her boss, former corrections inspector general Scott McAlister.
Last October, McAlister pleaded guilty to a charge of distribution of pornographic material and was sentenced to serve seven days in the Salt Lake County Jail.
He resigned from his state job when Dreitzler and other employees alleged him of trying to engage them in group sex and watching pornographic videos.