Circuit Court Clerk censured

A jovial mood at the Feb. 20 Anderson County Commission meeting turned serious and solemn as allegations of sexual harassment committed by a public official became public.

“The Anderson County Human Resource Department has received multiple reports regarding unbecoming conduct in the workplace by William Jones, Anderson County Circuit Court Clerk,” stated Kimberly Whitaker, Anderson County Human Resources Director. “The five reports create a harassing pattern and are supported by two affidavits and four sworn statements attained by HR from the victims.”

Whitaker stoically posed this information for the committee.

Of the five claims, there are four past or present employees and one citizen. One of the current employees had to be removed from a circuit court position for relocation by the HR Department to ensure protection, Whitaker said.

Some of the alleged instances of unprofessional behavior include degrading nicknames, request of dressing “inappropriately to please him (Jones),” unlawful interview questions, unwelcomed sexual advances, sexually explicit messages, solicitation of sex, and unwanted touching.

The report also asserts that Jones expressed retaliatory behavior, up to discharge, for those who would not participate in or succumb to his contact, Whitaker said.