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$30,000 Settlement in Ohio Jail Sexual and Racial Harassment

Ohio’s Richland County paid $30,000 to settle the sexual and racial harassment claim of Angela Pitts, whose claims occurred while employed as a guard by Richland County Sheriff Department (RCSD).

Pitts, a white female, began working for the RCSD in April 2002. In early August 2006, the Sheriff asked for employee comments concerning supervisors dating subordinates. Pitts submitted a letter on the matter. Thereafter, harassment began. Issue was made of her being married to a black man, her dress code and finally she was arrested.

The arrest was based on Pitts’s overhearing the conversation of two of her antagonists, who were lovers and the subject of her letter. She overheard the conversation while working in the radio room. As guard Melissa Long passed Lt. Robert Santoro, she told her lover to order Pitts to the jail floor.

Pitts overheard the conversation because the two lovers were passing through door 8, which automatically activates an intercom when opened. This resulted in Pitts being arrested for “interception of a wire, oral, or electronic communications.” A grand jury refused to indict her on two occasions.

Represented by Columbus attorney Charles Bendig, Pitts settled the claim on February 4, 2009. See: Pitts v. Sheldon, USDC, N.D. Ohio, Case No. 1:08-cv-00807.

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Related legal case

Pitts v. Sheldon

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