Federal jury rules in favor of Will County sheriff in harassment suit
By Cindy Wojdyla Cain firstname.lastname@example.org March 5, 2013 3:58PM
Updated: April 7, 2013 6:29AM
A federal jury in Chicago said last week that Will County Sheriff Paul Kaupas and eight staffers were not guilty of sexual harassment.
The department had been sued in 2008 by Marlis O’Leary, a former jail guard who alleged she was subjected to a hostile work environment and supervisors who made sexually inappropriate comments to her.
She also said in the lawsuit that she was traumatized by the incidents and was suffering post traumatic stress disorder.
But the jury disagreed and ruled against her on Friday.
“This was a meritless claim,” said Mary Tatroe, civil division chief for the Will County state’s attorney’s office. “She never reported any incidents of harassment to union officials or supervisors and her co-workers denied any harassment took place, not just males — females.”
Tatroe also said that O’Leary presented no evidence of harassment “other than her own testimony at trial.”
Kaupas said he was pleased with the outcome.
“We knew the lawsuit had no basis,” he said. “She never reported anything until the day she quit work here.”
O’Leary started working for the department in March 2006, went on medical leave in June 2007 and was terminated in April 2012.
Last summer, O’Leary filed another federal suit, claiming that the sheriff’s office retaliated against her in late 2010 because of the earlier lawsuit. That lawsuit is still pending.
Neither O’Leary nor her lawyer could be reached for comment.