• Former officer's lawsuit claims boss sexually harassed him

    By: Tom Jones


    CHATTAHOOCHEE HILLS, Ga. - A former police officer has filed a federal lawsuit claiming his female boss sexually harassed him on a daily basis.

    James Melton says he was a lieutenant with the Chattahoochee Hills Police Department when a now-former city employee began constantly trying to get him to have an intimate relationship with her.

    He says the woman couldn't keep her hands off him.

    "It was daily, the touching, the grabbing, the exposing," he said.

    Melton said the woman would often come into his office and expose herself.

    "She came in, and she unbuttoned it (her blouse) and raised her bra up," Melton said.

    "Most people believe that sexual harassment only happens to a woman," Melton's attorney, Jackie Patterson, told Channel 2's Tom Jones.

    Patterson said the woman was extreme in her harassment of Melton.

    He said it happened on duty and off.

    Patterson said the woman invited Melton to a bar in Serenbe for work-related matters and then began groping him.

    "She indicated to my client that she had not had sex in seven years and that her husband left her for another man," Patterson said.

    Melton has filed a federal lawsuit against the woman, the city of Chattahoochee Hills and former Police Chief Damon Jones, alleging sexual harassment and retaliation.

    Melton said he was fired after he refused to lie for the chief.

    Melton said Jones was suspected of providing alcohol to a 19-year-old female firefighter and having sex with her and wanted him to provide Jones with an alibi.

    Before that, Melton said, Jones refused to help stop the harassment by the woman.

    "I would even speak to the chief. 'Can you not do something about this?' And he would laugh about it," Melton explained.

    When reached by phone, Jones said Melton has caused chaos where ever he has gone.

    He said he had no further comment but sent a statement that said, "During that time, I certainly had reason to believe that there was a relationship between James & (the woman), possibly intimate, but had no proof. Each time I questioned them individually, they both adamantly swore there was not. I attempted to terminate Melton's employment on several occasions for grave policy violations and insubordination; (the woman) would not allow me to do so."

    Patterson said he has sexually harassing text messages and emails the woman sent to Melton.

    Melton says the harassment and retaliation has ruined his life and career.

    He said it's all because the woman wouldn't accept "no." He said he tried to get her to understand that the relationship would be wrong.

    "'You're my boss,' and I'd used that word, 'You're my boss,'" he said he told her.

    Both the woman and Jones resigned their positions with the city in the last couple of years.

    The woman did not returned a phone call seeking comment.

    The mayor said he was instructed by the city attorney not to comment on the lawsuit.

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