July 19, 2018
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Former Lincoln County employee settles sexual harassment lawsuit

By Beth Brogan, BDN Staff

A former employee of the Lincoln County district attorney’s office has settled a lawsuit in U.S. District Court alleging that she was sexually harassed by a former assistant district attorney.

Last August, Chastity Krah, 46, of Newcastle, sued Lincoln County; the county commissioners; former District Attorney Geoffrey Rushlau, who is now a judge; former Assistant District Attorney Andrew Wright; and the Maine attorney general’s office.

Krah, a victim/witness advocate, claimed she was sexually harassed by Wright, who was her supervisor, in 2013 and 2014. She claimed county officials were indifferent to her situation and alleged that Rushlau forced her to resign in December 2014 under false and misleading pretenses, according to court documents.

She accused the county of sex discrimination, retaliation and creation of a hostile work environment in violation of her civil rights and the Maine Human Rights Act.

She accused the county, Wright and Rushlau of violating her right to equal protection.

She sought back pay and reinstatement, along with unspecified compensatory and punitive damages and attorney’s fees.

The defendants denied any discrimination or harassment, although Wright acknowledged sexual encounters he claimed were “voluntary, consensual and not unwelcome.”

Krah, who served as a victim witness advocate from April 2008 to Dec. 5, 2014, worked for Lincoln County. Rushlau, who was the elected district attorney for Waldo, Knox, Lincoln and Sagadahoc counties until Gov. Paul LePage appointed him judge for the Maine District Court earlier this year, and Wright, who resigned as ADA in July 2015 and is now in private practice, were state employees in the Maine attorney general’s office when Krah worked in the district attorney’s office in Wiscasset.

Kennebunk attorney James A. Clifford, who represented Krah, notified the clerk on July 19 that settlements had been reached in the case.

Clifford confirmed Tuesday that Krah reached two settlement agreements, one with the Maine attorney general’s office, Wright and Rushlau, and another with the county and county commissioners.

Citing a confidentiality order imposed by Magistrate Judge John H. Rich, Clifford declined to comment on the details of the settlement, which is due to the court by Aug. 18.

“Ms. Krah is very relieved the case is over and is satisfied with the results,” he said. She is now employed elsewhere, he said, and “she’s not going to be going back to work for [Lincoln County.]”

Attorneys Cassandra S. Shaffer and Peter T. Marchesi, who represented Lincoln County and the commissioners, Portland attorney Eric J. Uhl, who represents Wright, and Assistant Attorney General Valerie Wright, who represented the attorney general’s office and Rushlau, did not respond to calls seeking comment on Tuesday.


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