Silence penetrated the room as two UNC Asheville faculty members read anonymous stories of sexual harassment from a stack of notecards. The stories were shared at a sexual harassment speak-out event held on Thursday, Feb. 28, where UNCA faculty, staff and students discussed what sexual harassment means and how to respond both individually and culturally. (Includes audio)
As part of the $52,100 settlement of sexual harassment lawsuit by former Asheville Police Department officer Cherie Byrd against the city of Asheville and her former superior Eric Lauffer, the city received back all of the documents it provided to Byrd, according to records obtained by Xpress. The documents also reveal other details about the settlement.
Asheville Police Department Officer Eric Lauffer, whose explicit text messages to his then-subordinate, Officer Cherie Byrd, were at the center of a sexual harassment lawsuit that the city settled this week for $52,100, is still employed by the department. Photo by Jonathan Welch
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.
Personnel records released by the city of Ashevile reveal that police Sgt. Eric Lauffer, the target of a sexual harassment suit by former Officer Cherie Byrd, was demoted in June to a police officer's rank. In defenses filed last week, the city admitted that Lauffer sent lewd text messages to Byrd, along with ones she regarded as racially offensive, though it denies any wrongdoing.
In defenses filed against the sexual harassment suit brought by Asheville Police Department Officer Cherie Byrd — attorneys for both the APD and Byrd's former superior, Sgt. Eric Lauffer, admit Lauffer sent explicit text messages to Byrd that include "I must licky you" and "You have just been phone fucked!" but they deny any wrongdoing in the case.
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