U.S. District Judge J. Thomas Greene has dropped five state law claims from the federal sexual-harassment lawsuit of former Salt Lake County attorney's office employee Debra Tueller Sauers.
But substantial federal law allegations remain in the suit - claims that former County Attorney Ted Cannon sexually harassed her and the county retaliated against her because she was a whistle-blower.Kathryn Collard, Sauers' attorney, said she is uncertain if the dropped claims will be refiled in state court. They were never really a part of the suit, she said, but were mentioned to put the county on notice that they might be in it. If they were not cited, it might not have been possible to raise them later.
These state claims of assault, invasion of privacy, emotional distress, negligence and violation of state constitutional rights could become elements considered in assessing damages in the suit if Sauers wins, Collard said.
Greene is considering a county motion to dismiss the remaining federal counts.
Sauers' suit, filed in July, says that Cannon pleaded no contest to assaulting her. He served 25 days in the Summit County Jail, Coalville.
The suit says David Yocom, who replaced Cannon as county attorney, discriminated against Sauers. It says she was fired because she brought grievances and was an outspoken supporter of Shauna Clark, "who was also a victim of Mr. Cannon."
Clark settled her suit against the county for $68,000.
"Mr. Cannon was making extremely sexual comments to me and actually coming on to me, especially starting in July 1986," Sauers claimed in the suit.
The suit says Cannon made an effort to look down her blouse while she was sitting. She says that in September 1986, Cannon came up behind her while she was sitting at a computer terminal and rubbed against her shoulder.
"I moved away and then observed him go over behind Shauna Clark and stand close to her in the same manner," the suit says.