Former employee suing several members of Madison County Sheriff' - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Former employee suing several members of Madison County Sheriff's Office

(Source: WAFF) (Source: WAFF)

A former employee with the Madison County Sheriff's Office has filed suit against several members of the sheriff's office and other county officials.

Shelby Holt is claiming sexual harassment and illegal retaliation by multiple former coworkers. Holt is suing 15 people for violation of equal rights.

She hasn’t answered our attempt to reach out yet, but legal analyst Mark McDaniel broke down what the 93-page lawsuit entails.

"All the counts are title 7 violations of discrimination, sexual harassment, hostile work environment and unlawful retaliation. That’s her allegations against all these defendants," McDaniel said.

The lawsuit spells out exactly how Holt alleges she was sexually harassed and retaliated against. McDaniel explained the burden of proof for this lawsuit.

"She has to prove, against each of these defendants, she has to prove these allegations she set forth in this complaint,” he said. “She has to prove each of those allegations against each of those defendants by preponderance of the evidence.”

McDaniel said Holt has to have legally admissible evidence, or evidence that the judge will allow the jury to hear in a trial. But he said it could be years before this makes it to a jury.

"Each of these defendants will start filing motions to dismiss, motions for judgement claiming there’s not sufficient evidence to support submitting the case to the jury,” he said. “After all that, if there’s anything left, the case will be submitted to trial."

WAFF 48 News was able to get in touch with Holt's lawyer, Michael Weathers. He said they're refraining from interviews right now but claims there are other imminent lawsuits having to do with this same type of complaint. If and when any similar lawsuits are filed, we’ll update you.

The sheriff's office spokesperson directed WAFF 48 to the Madison County attorney. We have yet to hear back from him.

The sheriff's office later released a statement saying, "It is the policy of the Madison County Sheriff's Office not to specifically comment on pending litigation, as in any allegation of misconduct and or criminal activity each complaint is audited, investigated and handled properly as required by Law. The Madison County Sheriff's Office has begun a process of self reporting any complaint that it feels should be referred to another State or Federal Agency for examination."

Madison County Commission Chairman Dale Strong said, "While it is our custom not to discuss pending litigation, any time allegations of this nature are made there is cause for concern. I trust that the sheriff of Madison County would not tolerate this type of accused conduct and that he will thoroughly investigate any and all accusations."

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