Ex-commissioner files defamation lawsuit against colleagues
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — A former Utah County commissioner who was investigated on sexual harassment allegations is suing other members of the commission for defamation.
Greg Graves filed the lawsuit Tuesday, claiming Commissioners Nathan Ivie and Bill Lee led people to believe he was guilty of the allegations because they wanted him removed from office, The Salt Lake Tribune reported .
A county employee in October 2017 filed a complaint against Graves, claiming he touched her inappropriately and made sexual comments.
An outside attorney for the county commission conducted an investigation but could not confirm sexual harassment, despite finding the witness to be credible. The investigator also found that Graves retaliated against the woman after she made the complaint.
Graves left office at the end of his term in January despite calls by commissioners and several state lawmakers for him to resign.
Graves claims in the lawsuit that the allegations were fabricated and have irreparably damaged his reputation. He says he hasn’t been able to get a job, and his relationship with his wife was “negatively impacted.”
He referred questions Wednesday to his attorney, Ryan Schriever. Schriever said the injury to Graves’ reputation was real. He declined further comment.
Lee said he didn’t have a response to the lawsuit.
Ivie referred questions to the county’s attorney, but said, “Obviously, he has his opinions and I have mine.”
The county’s attorney, Andrew Morse, said Graves’ claims are meritless. He plans to ask the court to dismiss the lawsuit.
The lawsuit seeks financial compensation for the harm to his reputation.
Information from: The Salt Lake Tribune, http://www.sltrib.com