Inglewood mayor facing second sexual harassment lawsuit

0
174

By 2UrbanGirls

Contributing Writer

INGLEWOOD — The lawyer representing the former executive assistant to Mayor James T. Butts Jr. in a suit against Butts and the city said he is filing a second lawsuit for a different client.

Attorney Carl Douglas said the second client will be identified as Jane Doe in the suit that he said alleges “similar creepy conduct and sexual harassment.”

“Our claim for damages with my second victim, Jane Doe, is being filed and served this week against the mayor,” Douglas said.

Douglas also is representing Melanie McDade in a suit that claims the mayor began retaliating against her after their consensual relationship ended in March 2018. She said she believes Butts installed tracking devices on her car to monitor her whereabouts and would show up unannounced at her home and various appointments on her regular days off.

Douglas said he has filed a 54-page amended complaint for McDade against Mayor Butts, City Manager Artie Fields and city Human Resources Director Jose Cortes alleging wrongful termination, retaliation, intentional infliction of emotional distress and failure to investigate and prevent sexual harassment.

“The city was served and will have 30 days to respond and will either answer or file a motion challenging the sufficiency of the allegations against the mayor,” Douglas said. “It will all be a play by Skip Miller’s firm, Miller Barondess, to squeeze more money out of the city coffers and all city taxpayers should be alarmed and annoyed.”

Douglas said he is seeking to disqualify Miller’s firm as the city’s council in the McDade suit because that firm represented McDade at her first deposition when she testified on behalf of the city in the Madison Square Garden lawsuit against the city.

“It is outrageous they would attempt to continue to represent the city against a former client,” Douglas said.

The amended complaint alleges the mayor interfered in her performing her daily duties including removing her from accessing her computer and email account. McDade’s account paints a similar pattern of retaliation also alleged by City Treasurer Wanda Brown.

Brown described a pattern of Butts retaliating against her when she began speaking out against the city’s finances.

Butts, released a response through a city spokesperson, acknowledging the restrictions placed on the treasurer, but denied the changes were an act of retaliation.

“The treasurer has not been attacked in any manner,” he wrote.

Butts said Brown’s email access was suspended temporarily, but has since been restored, due to a violation of a policy regarding offensive language and harassment.

Brown has also filed a claim against the city, which was rejected on March 16.

2 Urban Girls is a freelance reporter for Wave Newspapers who covers the Compton and Inglewood areas. She can be reached at 2urbangirls@gmail.com.