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Former Salt Lake County Employee Claims Sexual Harassment

Former Salt Lake County Employee Claims Sexual Harassment



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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- A former employee in the Salt Lake County clerk's office claims she was sexually harassed by another employee, with whom she previously had had a relationship.

District Attorney David Yocom has not made public the findings of his investigation, and the woman's attorney, Ralph Chamness said, "There's no question that there's political stuff going on here.

"My client was severely damaged, and for them to play political games with this is just outrageous, he said." Chamness was quoted in a copyright story in the Deseret Morning News.

The former employee filed a notice of claim with the county on July 14, alleging that in the summer of 2001, then-Chief Deputy Clerk Nick Floros sexually harassed her verbally and physically. She alleges he kissed her neck, touched her breasts, exposed himself and requested her to engage in sexual behavior he saw in pornographic movies.

Last year, the woman filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, which conducted an investigation and concluded she had a legitimate case.

She also complained to the county, and Yocom had an investigation made.

So far, however, Yocom has refused to make the investigation report public, the newspaper said. Floros was allowed to work from home for a few weeks and then quietly retire on Jan. 31.

Floros declined to comment when contacted by the Deseret Morning News.

Yocom said the situation is purely a personnel matter and that he is required neither to release the investigation report nor charge Floros.

"There was no allegation of criminal wrongdoing," he said, adding, "We can't pursue a criminal complaint without a victim. ... There was no interest on (the woman's) part of pursuing a criminal complaint."

"Oh really?" Chamness said. "That would be news to me."

He said neither he nor the woman have ever had such a discussion with Yocom.

The newspaper said that several weeks after Floros left, he was replaced with Yocom's son, Jason. Yocom's wife, Linda, also has been an employee in the clerk's office. County Clerk Sherrie Swensen has defended the hirings, saying they had nothing to do with David Yocom and that the two family members were qualified for their positions.

Supporters of county Mayor Nancy Workman, whom Yocom has charged with misuse of public money, claim Yocom has chosen the cases he wants to pursue based on politics, personal animosity and personal connections, the newspaper said.

"I'm very troubled by what I hear," Republican county Councilman Russell Skousen said. "I think it merits further investigation by the council."

Workman, who received a copy of Yocom's report on July 15, said she was not interested in politicizing the incident. "That's a very disturbing claim. That was a sickening, serious thing that was taken care of," Workman said.

(Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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