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School District Employee Sues To Keep Records Private In Sexual Harassment Case

A Fayetteville School District employee who accused the former superintendent of sexual harassment is suing to keep h...

Posted: Jul 16, 2018 10:27 PM
Updated: Jul 16, 2018 10:27 PM

A Fayetteville School District employee who accused the former superintendent of sexual harassment is suing to keep her personnel records from becoming public.

Suzanne Clark, the woman's lawyer, filed a complaint Wednesday (July 11) in Washington County Circuit Court calling the potential release of the documents an unwarranted invasion of privacy.

Clark argued that the records deal with the woman's role as a victim of sexual harassment, and not her discipline or termination while working for the district.

"The records … contain graphic text messages that are exceptionally personal in nature," Clark wrote in the complaint.

"Such information would subject the plaintiff and her family to embarrassment, harassment, and could impact her employment and relationships with friends."

Clark also cited a 1981 Arkansas Supreme Court ruling which found that a substantial individual privacy interest outweighs the public's interest when the records reveal "intimate details of a person's life."

Clark declined to comment Friday (July 13). A district spokesman also declined to comment, citing the ongoing litigation.

After receiving several Freedom of Information Act requests regarding the district's investigation of Dr. Matthew Wendt, school officials determined the woman's personnel file was a "job performance record" and therefore releasable, according to Clark's complaint.

The woman asked for an opinion from Attorney General Leslie Rutledge, who later affirmed the district's decision to disclose the records.

However, Rutledge noted that the woman's "name should be redacted as a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy."

In March, the woman told district officials Wendt was harassing her. She later provided inappropriate text messages and voice recordings allegedly from Wendt as evidence.

The Fayetteville School Board fired Wendt last month, but the district still owes him more than $48,000 in accrued personal, sick and vacation time.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

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Cases: 749532

Reported Deaths: 13746
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion1030911775
Lake554681006
Allen41636691
St. Joseph36947564
Hamilton36527416
Elkhart29363459
Tippecanoe22862225
Vanderburgh22542400
Porter19331325
Johnson18405388
Hendricks17588317
Clark13200193
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Morgan6736141
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Ohio57811
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Ohio Coronavirus Cases

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Cases: 1107225

Reported Deaths: 20091
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin1285061459
Cuyahoga1156322204
Hamilton812991245
Montgomery524951040
Summit48356999
Lucas43309817
Butler38903603
Stark33297929
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Clermont20098252
Delaware18819135
Licking16649222
Fairfield16564204
Trumbull16527479
Medina15597270
Greene15256246
Clark14223306
Wood13281197
Portage13229214
Allen11903239
Richland11598211
Miami10837223
Wayne9116222
Columbiana9023230
Muskingum8889135
Pickaway8652122
Tuscarawas8639247
Marion8635138
Erie8052164
Ashtabula7139179
Hancock6996131
Ross6934161
Geauga6832150
Scioto6530104
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Union583849
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Jefferson5669158
Huron5539122
Sandusky5437125
Darke5415129
Seneca5344126
Washington5308109
Athens523360
Auglaize501687
Mercer487285
Shelby476295
Knox4568112
Madison443765
Ashland435197
Putnam4334103
Fulton431871
Defiance431798
Crawford4033110
Brown401961
Logan387377
Preble3847103
Clinton378566
Ottawa372781
Highland359465
Williams347878
Champaign343858
Guernsey324253
Jackson317554
Perry297150
Morrow291340
Fayette285350
Hardin274865
Henry273267
Holmes2699101
Coshocton268459
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Adams242956
Pike242735
Gallia240550
Wyandot234556
Hocking220162
Carroll196948
Paulding176342
Meigs148240
Monroe136144
Noble135839
Harrison113738
Morgan109624
Vinton85417
Unassigned03
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