It has been a polarizing few weeks following the ever-evolving William Jones sexual harassment claims.
The total number of accusers has reached seven, with two more women coming forward last week.
There was another claim made public Monday which has led to questions dealing with “who knew what and when did they know it?”
But accusations continue to stack up against the Anderson County Circuit Court Clerk. There are descriptive screenshots from social media apps and very detailed sworn statements from the victims.
On Feb. 20, 2018, the County Commission, led by Chairman Tim Isbel, unanimously decided to admonish and censure Jones for his “disgraceful” behavior and ask that he immediately resign his office of public trust.
Jones is maintaining the accusations are a “well-orchestrated attack in an attempt at character assassination.”
Jones made this known with a statement read on his behalf during the Feb. 20 County Commission meeting, a statement released to media outlets the following weekend, and on Ask Your Neighbor (AYN), a show on Clinton radio station WYSH, on Tuesday, March 6.
Ask Your Neighbor is a radio show in which the community is actively involved. Host Ron Meredith airs calls from listeners, who voice their opinions on whatever subject matter is at hand.
This subject matter, being the William Jones sexual harassment controversy, proved to be quite polarizing.
Meredith worked at presenting an unbiased stance throughout the show. On a few occasions, though he lost his temper with callers participating in victim blaming.
Victim blaming is where the victim of a crime, an accident, or any type of abusive maltreatment is held responsible for the wrongful conduct allegedly committed against them.
Some callers to the show were laying blame on the victims due to their reluctance to go public. Another notable instance during the radio show was when one of the victim’s husbands called in. It was the first time that the public has been able to hear from someone so close to the situation.
The caller was Assistant District Attorney of Anderson County, Ryan Spitzer.
Spitzer’s wife worked under Jones’ supervision and had allegedly been harassed by Jones.
Spitzer told Meredith that Jones “sat on her desk and said inappropriate things to her.”
But the main complaint that she had was that Jones had allegedly put his hands on her hips in the workplace. A violation of space and comfort.
She also stated that Jones allegedly liked everyone in his office to call him “daddy.” Allegedly, he in turn would call his employees names such as “daddy’s girl” or “daddy’s b*tch.”
After speaking with Spitzer, Meredith stated, “I think we just switched gears.”
On the claims that all of these allegations are politically motivated, Spitzer said, “My wife has to listen to this mess every day in the media about how it’s political. Well, I’ll tell you what: This is not political. Most of these ladies probably don’t even know who Rex Lynch is. This has nothing to do with Rex Lynch, it has to do with William Jones saying inappropriate things to the women that work for him.”
Spitzer was referring to the fact Jones is alleging that his opposition in an upcoming election, Rex Lynch, has “orchestrated” the situation as a political move.
Spitzer concluded by saying, “He doesn’t have the decency to step down so now I am calling him out. If he doesn’t have the decency to do the right thing, then he can answer for that.”
Spitzer urged listeners to come out to the County Commission meeting at 6:30 p.m. Monday, March 19.
Spitzer told Meredith that it hasn’t been just one instance of misbehavior in the workplace. It has been constant misconduct, and not only against his wife.
On Sept. 14, 2017, Human Resources employees Russell Bearden and Kim Whitaker interviewed four women: All alleged victims of Jones’ sexual harassment.
They will be named as accusers one through four to protect their identity.
Accuser one claimed that Jones took an interest in her while she was serving at a restaurant she worked at. He allegedly asked her to come work for his wife’s bedazzling store.
She alleged that is when she started receiving inappropriate message from Jones.
Jones allegedly asked her if she would be interested in going out for a threesome with he and his wife. She said showed her husband, who texted back saying that Jones needed to lose the number. Jones never texted back.
When accuser one was hired in the clerk’s office and saw Jones was going to be her boss, she alleged the situation became uneasy.
According to her statement, she alleged he made her working life a “nightmare” and eventually Jones terminated her.
Accuser two claimed that Jones asked her to send inappropriate pictures to him. She was working part-time in Jones’ office and shesaid she believed Jones was using his leverage to hire her full time to get inappropriate photos. In a message, Jones allegedly also asked for a form of sex.
She claimed that Jones said she should go to work for his wife at the tanning salon, so they could have some alone time. She said she never did she succumb to his advances for sexual favors.
According to her, things then changed. She alleged Jones’ wife apparently discovered the messages and Jones was no longer going to hire her full-time.
Accusers three and four alleged much of the same, claiming Jones made inappropriate comments and/or suggestions.
Accusers have also described working in the Circuit Court Clerk’s office as “uncomfortable,” and commented about having boxes under their desks because they might be fired on a moment’s notice.