The city of Asheville will settle a lawsuit from former Asheville Police Department Officer Cherie Byrd alleging that her superior, then-Sgt. Eric Lauffer, sent her sexually explicit text messages and phone calls. The city will pay Byrd $48,000 and reimburse her $4,100 in mediation fees.
City Attorney Bob Oast told Xpress about the settlement following a closed session of Asheville City Council discussing the case. Byrd alleged that Lauffner sent her sexually explicit and racially offensive text messages beginning in the summer of 2008 and that her supervisors in both the APD and the city repeatedly failed to take action.
Last July, responses to Byrd’s lawsuit from both the city and Lauffer’s attorney admitted the content of the messages but denied any wrongdoing.
— David Forbes, senior news reporter