CHARLESTON – A Kanawha County woman is suing over claims she was the victim of sexual harassment at work.
Savana Priest filed a lawsuit Oct. 8 in Kanawha Circuit Court against Lincoln County Public Service District and Ron Gregory, citing sexual harassment.
According to the complaint, Priest was hired by Lincoln County PSD on Sept. 11, after an initial employment interview in which Gregory, a board member, made inappropriate comments about Priest's feet and his "foot fetish."
Priest says after she began working at the Lincoln County PSD headquarters, Gregory began to sexually harass her, rubbing her shoulders, demanding she accompany him to breakfast to "take notes" and alluding to having sexual relations with Priest and telling people she was his girlfriend.
Priest says Gregory required her and another female employee to accompany him to places for no reason other than to "show them off," showed Priest an inappropriate photo on his phone and consistently told sexually charged jokes in the offices.
The complaint also states Gregory removes his bill from the outgoing bills, and, therefore, hasn't paid fees to the Lincoln County PSD in months or years. The defendants are accused of sex discrimination/sexual harassment, hostile work environment, civil assault and battery and intentional infliction of emotional distress.
Priest seeks compensatory and punitive damages, costs of suit and an injunction ordering Lincoln County PSD to establish sexual harassment training programs and enjoining Gregory from using his position of power to harass women.
Priest is represented by attorneys Mark L. French and Matthew S. Criswell of Criswell French in Charleston. The case has been assigned to Circuit Judge James C. Stucky.
Gregory is known in government circles, having held various posts over the years such as Kanawha County manager and Charleston parks director. Last year, he was relieved of duties with Kanawha County parks after he allegedly took a county vehicle to Lincoln County without permission.
Kanawha Circuit Court case number: 14-C-1841