Last week, former Dallas County Health Director Zachary Thompson was accused of sexual harassment by an employee. Thompson, who was in charge of managing tens of millions of federal dollars to help poor, uninsured HIV/AIDS patients, is being accused of mismanagement and inappropriate sexual behaviors that lasted for years. According to the report obtained last week, the woman says Thompson’s sexual advances affected her ability to adequately perform her job. However, Thompson’s attorney and County Commissioner John Wiley Price claims the woman fabricated her complaint in an effort to cover up what they are referring to as “poor job performance”.
The woman – who is not being named because she is an alleged victim of sexual abuse – says that she refused Thompson’s sexual advances, at which point he retaliated and prevented her from hiring quality employees, undergoing training, and performing job responsibilities without his supervision. These “retaliatory acts” not only impacted Thompson’s accuser but affected the entire program administration. The woman claims that things escalated during the last year and a half as Thompson created ways to “discredit my performance as part of a larger effort to harm my livelihood and reputation”.
Emails Support Victim’s Frustration
The Dallas Morning News obtained a series of emails between the woman and Thompson, many of which highlight her frustration over his lack of management of the HIV/AIDS program. The emails also referenced her job performance and indicate a shift in attitude on the part of Thompson. Prior to the alleged sexual harassment, the woman had years of mainly positive performance reviews.
Thompson is married and has denied all accusations of sexual misconduct. In addition to the emails and verbal abuse, the woman claims she has a skirt with Thompson’s semen on it. At this time, it has not been tested for DNA. Dallas County has hired a third party law firm to investigate the claims and the way human resources handled the situation. Perhaps unsurprisingly, Thompson is refusing to cooperate with the investigation.
The Dangers of Sexual Harassment in the Workplace
As we have seen, sexual harassment is a very serious problem, especially in the workplace. Over the last year, thousands of brave women have come forward with their stories of abuse and misconduct. Because of this, times are changing and these abusers are now being held accountable for their actions. If you think you have been sexually harassed or mistreated, please contact Janovksy & Associates. Attorney Janovsky is a leading Dallas sexual harassment attorney who has represented countless victims of these types of crimes. Sexual misconduct of any kind is completely inappropriate and unacceptable. To learn more about your rights and what the next steps are, please contact our Dallas law office today.