City settles APD sexual harassment lawsuit

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


Thanks for reading through to the end…

We share your inclination to get the whole story. For the past 25 years, Xpress has been committed to in-depth, balanced reporting about the greater Asheville area. We want everyone to have access to our stories. That’s a big part of why we've never charged for the paper or put up a paywall.

We’re pretty sure that you know journalism faces big challenges these days. Advertising no longer pays the whole cost. Media outlets around the country are asking their readers to chip in. Xpress needs help, too. We hope you’ll consider signing up to be a member of Xpress. For as little as $5 a month — the cost of a craft beer or kombucha — you can help keep local journalism strong. It only takes a moment.

Before you comment

The comments section is here to provide a platform for civil dialogue on the issues we face together as a local community. Xpress is committed to offering this platform for all voices, but when the tone of the discussion gets nasty or strays off topic, we believe many people choose not to participate. Xpress editors are determined to moderate comments to ensure a constructive interchange is maintained. All comments judged not to be in keeping with the spirit of civil discourse will be removed and repeat violators will be banned. See here for our terms of service. Thank you for being part of this effort to promote respectful discussion.

One thought on “City settles APD sexual harassment lawsuit

Leave a Reply

To leave a reply you may Login with your Mountain Xpress account, connect socially or enter your name and e-mail. Your e-mail address will not be published. All fields are required.