Breaking News
More () »

Former Douglas County commissioner aide gets $25K settlement after accusing boss of sexual harassment

Sources close to the investigation and documents obtained by 11Alive revealed the allegations

DOUGLAS COUNTY, Ga. — A former assistant to a Douglas County commissioner agreed to a $25,000 separation settlement months after she accused her boss of sexual harassment.

A legislative aide to District 2 Commissioner Kelly G. Robinson signed the agreement on May 5, according to documents obtained by 11Alive. The station is withholding her identity because 11Alive doesn't publish the names of potential sexual harassment victims.

County officials would not confirm that the separation settlement is related to a February complaint filed against Robinson by a county employee. The employee, whose name is redacted in the complaint, identified Robinson as her boss. 

A source familiar with the matter told 11Alive that the person who filed the complaint received the $25,000. A county investigation couldn't confirm the employee's allegations.

In a statement, Robinson said he "adamantly and vehemently" denied "any and all assertions of inappropriate contact." He also apologized "for any and all inadvertent contact with the complainant.” 

Attempts to contact the employee before publication were unsuccessful.

According to a copy of the complaint obtained by 11Alive, the woman and Robinson attended a conference together in Washington D.C.

The employee alleged that Robinson inappropriately touched her while leaving a hotel and inside an Uber as the pair traveled to a dinner. The employee also alleged that Robinson was inebriated and pushed her after dinner.

The employee told investigators that Robinson had not harassed or inappropriately touched her prior to the conference.

"I moved away while trying to remain professional," the employee wrote in her complaint. "But (I) was very upset, trying not to cry."

The county investigation could not prove that Robinson committed the acts, according to a summary of the findings.

The employee provided county officials with text messages she sent to another person. In the conversation, the employee alleged that Robinson inappropriately touched her.

However, there were no witnesses who saw Robinson allegedly harass the employee.

Investigators recommended that the county "consider other available employment opportunities in Douglas County" for the employee.

"While no definitive conclusion was reached with respect to (the employee's) allegations, she and other employees are strongly encouraged to report any allegations of misconduct," the report reads. 

Robinson was elected to the Douglas County Commission in 2009. He is the CEO and co-founder of Archie Mae, a housing advocacy and capital markets firm.

The settlement is the latest development involving the Douglas County Commission. The body has been in the spotlight since two commissioners were indicted by a grand jury earlier this year for their roles in an alleged bid-rigging scheme.

Gov. Brian Kemp suspended Romona Jackson Jones and Henry Mitchell III in April pending the outcome of the case. Kemp appointed former Douglas County Sheriff Phil D. Miller and former U.S. Naval Academy football player Ricky Dobbs as interim commissioners last week.

The Douglas County Sheriff's Office is also investigating potential misuse of county purchasing cards. The county paused its use of the cards for 100 days beginning May 1.

11Alive has also been following developments with the Douglas County Fire Department and fireman Daymetrie Williams. 

Williams is wanted on felony theft charges in Alabama but remains employed in Douglas County. Following 11Alive's reporting, Douglas County Fire Chief Roderick Jolivette was fired in April for failing to properly investigate claims regarding Williams' criminal background.

Before You Leave, Check This Out