Asheville Police Department Lt. Mark Byrd, claiming the city of Asheville’s management and the APD’s leadership retaliated and discriminated against him on a number of occasions, including when his wife filed a sexual harassment suit, filed a lawsuit in federal court Jan. 21.
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.
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.
Alleging that city officials ignored and retaliated against her complaints of repeated sexual discrimination, Asheville Police Department Officer Cherie Byrd is suing the city and her supervisor in federal court. The city is staying silent on the lawsuit, for now.