Ashley Haywood

Lumbee Beauty Queen Suing Former Employer for Wrongful Discharge, Suppressing her Claims of Sexual Harassment, Battery

ICTMN Staff
10/10/12

"Miss Lumbee" 2008 of  Robeson County, North Carolina is suing her former employer, the Lumbee Tribe's housing office, for wrongful discharge and allegedly attempting to cover up her claims of sexual harassment and battery, reported wscotv.com.

In a lawsuit filed in Mecklenburg County yesterday, Ashley Haywood claims her former boss, Rev. Jimmy Hunt, committed verbal abuse, inappropriately touched her, forcibly groped and kissed her, and downloaded a pornographic video on her computer, over the course of her employment at the tribe's housing office in 2009.

"Ashley started carrying around scissors, because frankly she thought she was going to be raped," her Charlotte, North Carolina-based attorney Josh Van Kampen told wscotv.com.

Van Kampen said his client filed her lawsuit in a different county because she feared she would not get a fair trial in her hometown of Pembroke, located two hours southwest of Charlotte.

According to the lawsuit, Haywood told her tribal leaders about the attacks, but they discouraged her from reporting it. Haywood did file a grievance against Hunt in 2010, and an investigation was launched. Meanwhile, Hunt left his position at the tribe's housing office. When Haywood still wanted to press criminal charges, tribal leaders threatened she would lose her job if word spread about her sexual harassment accusations, the lawsuit states.

At a later date, Hunt returned to the tribe's housing office as an inspector, and that's when tribal leaders "suspended and abruptly terminated" Haywood, Van Kampen said.

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