AP NEWS

S. Carolina county official accused of sexual harassment

May 29, 2019

BEAUFORT, S.C. (AP) — An official of Beaufort County, South Carolina, is accused of sexually harassing the county’s former clerk.

The Island Packet reports Ashley Bennett filed a lawsuit Friday against the county, its council and Councilman Gerald Dawson. She accuses Dawson of repeated “unwelcomed touching” and sexual comments.

Dawson is an associate minister at Mount Carmel Baptist Church of Dale and a retired U.S. Postal Service worker. He denies the allegations, which he says are “all for monetary gain.”

Bennett took the clerk job in September 2016 and resigned in April 2018, noting to the interim administrator that her departure was due to the harassment.

The lawsuit accuses the defendants of violating the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and seeks compensatory damages, saying Bennett suffered lost wages and endured humiliation.

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Information from: The Island Packet, http://www.islandpacket.com

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