WJHL.com - More women accuse Greene County Clerk of sexual misconduct

More women accuse Greene County Clerk of sexual misconduct

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GREENE COUNTY, TN (WJHL) -

Five more women have come forward accusing Greene County Clerk David Thompson of sexual harassment, including three women who say they formerly worked as county employees under his supervision.

The new allegations come as the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission continues to investigate whether or not Thompson sexually harassed and discriminated against another former county employee.

Michelle Burke filed complaints against Thompson and Greene County this summer, accusing the county clerk of forcing her into a sexual relationship.

News Channel 11 has since obtained five additional affidavits from five other women (collected by Burke's attorney and signed in July and August) that allege similar stories.

According to the affidavits, which Burke's attorney confirmed to us she provided to the EEOC, three of the women say they worked under Thompson as deputy clerks.

One said Thompson would come up behind her, run his hands through her hair and rub her shoulders and neck despite her telling him to stop. That woman also said in return, among other things, Thompson would doctor her time sheets and gave her raises.

Another woman, who also said she was a former deputy clerk, said she was never given an employee handbook but instead received unwanted advances from her boss. She said Thompson requested a kiss on the cheek as repayment for giving her the job. She said he also sent her emails from a personal account, one of them an especially explicit message. According to her affidavit, she was going through marital problems at the time and said she was scared to say anything because she needed a job to provide for her and her kids. In return for the sexual advances, she says Thompson would alter her time card.

Another woman, who also said she was a former deputy clerk, said Thompson tried to kiss her in his office on her first day. She said because of that she left for lunch and never returned.

Two additional women said Thompson reached out to them, one through Facebook, the other by text message. However, the two said they were not employed by the Greene County Clerk's Office.

News of these affidavits (all signed in July and early August) comes just a few weeks after Greene County County Attorney Roger Woolsey told us an internal investigation revealed no evidence of misconduct in connection to Burke's original complaint.

"We do not believe that there was any sexual harassment or discrimination," he said at the end of August. "We take our obligations seriously. You know, I've got a wife and I've got a daughter. I don't want anyone to be subjected to discrimination or sexual harrassment. You know, the government is supposed to protect people, supposed to serve people and I think the government's function is we're supposed to serve our citizens."

Woolsey also previously said it will likely take another two months before everyone knows the next step for the EEOC investigation.

"I'm hopeful the county attorney will share the information I have shared with him with the county commission and reach a resolution so that my client can move on with her life," Burke's attorney Sandra Lee Stanberry said of the new allegations within the affidavits.

Considering the latest developments, Greene County County Commissioners Robin Quillen and Jan Kiker say it is now time to make some tough decisions regarding the elected official.

"I'm very upset about it and if the allegations are true, it's definitely time to move on them," Quillen said. "We need to make sure that they are investigated thoroughly and if they all come out to be true then we need to ask Mr. Thompson to resign."

Quillen says she would like to see the full Greene County Commission meet ahead of its scheduled meeting next month to discuss this issue.

"I think we need to make some decisions," Quillen said. "They may be tough decisions but I think we need to make them. Probably, in my opinion, things like this have probably gone on in our county for years, it's just easier for them to turn their heads, shake it under the rug and pat each other on the back and go home."

Quillen had remained skeptical since Burke filed her complaint this summer. Commissioner Kiker says she too is bothered by the recent allegations.

"It's time," Kiker said. "Something needs to be done. It's not just a 'he said, she said' anymore. I think it's time we meet as a county commission and discuss that. I think there's a possibility of an ouster suit. There's a possibility of Mr. Thompson resigning."

As for Thompson's reaction, he didn't have much to say when contacted Monday.

"I'm not sure exactly what to say," Thompson said. "All of (the people who filed the new allegations) weren't employees so it doesn't have to do with the EEOC investigation."

Thompson referred any additional comment to his attorney.

"Our policy is not to comment on current representation issues," Thompson's attorney Phillip Baker said.

From the beginning, Thompson has said Burke's allegations were unfounded.

"All I can say right now is that the truth will come out in court, I suppose, if need be," Thompson said back in July.


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