published Tuesday, June 7th, 2011

Murray investigates sex harassment claims

CHATSWORTH, Ga. — Murray County Manager and Interim County Commissioner Tom Starnes has hired an independent investigator to look into allegations made by a county employee that she was sexually harassed by former County Commissioner David Ridley.

In a news release sent out Tuesday, Starnes denied any “direct knowledge” of the harassment before the employee hired an attorney to represent her. In her lawsuit, the employee claims that Starnes knew Ridley was sexually harassing her and did nothing to stop it.

Starnes refused to say how much the county is paying the investigator.

The woman, who has been a county employee for 29 years, filed an Equal Employment Opportunity Commission complaint in March and, after receiving a right to sue from the commission in May, filed a federal lawsuit against the county and Ridley.

about Mariann Martin...

Mariann Martin covers healthcare in Chattanooga and the surrounding region. She joined the Times Free Press in February 2011, after covering crime and courts for the Jackson (Tenn.) Sun for two years. Mariann was born in Indiana, but grew up in Pennsylvania, Tennessee and Belize. She graduated from Union University in 2005 with degrees in English and history and has master’s degrees in international relations and history from the University of Toronto. While attending Union, ...

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