Lawsuit against Central Texas county, sheriff subject of federal hearing
A federal lawsuit alleging sexual harassment and discrimination filed against Falls County and it’s sheriff, Ricky Scaman, by a former assistant chief deputy was the subject of motions hearings Thursday in Waco’s federal court.
Nanci Anderson filed the suit following failed mediation over a complaint she filed with the TWC in August of 2017 which was never resolved.
U.S. District Judge Alan D Albright oversaw the motions hearing Thursday, moderated as both parties argued their sides, AND then asked several questions of the attorneys regarding points of the case.
Falls County is represented by Fletcher, Farley, Shipman & Salinas, L.L.P., of Dallas, Scaman by attorney Robin Hill O’Donoghue, of Flowers Davis, P.L.L.C., Tyler, and Anderson by Edward P. Watt, of Dripping Springs.
The parties agreed that a jury trial would be possible in September, 2019, and the court’s record showed both parties were directed to have any motions or responses prepared 30 days before trial, which all agreed could last three days.
The federal lawsuit is one of two complaints filed against Scaman, both detailing similar grievances.
The other was brought by Former Falls County jailer Shirley Boger, who filed a discrimination complaint in late May with the Texas Workforce Commission that alleges Scaman sexually assaulted her more than 20 times.
Boger also alleges in the complaint that the sheriff subjected her to sexual violence, told her he was her boss and made her suffer from unwanted and unprotected sex.
The attorneys for both Falls County and for Scaman have said Anderson and Boger both have a financial motive in the lawsuits.
"I'm not going to stand by and be falsely accused of something. I'll fight to the bitter end," Scaman told KWTX in June.
Anderson resigned in June of 2017 after less than six months on the job.
Anderson's attorneys confirmed a past friendship with Scaman, but said a chain of text messages clearly shows she was deflecting his overtly inappropriate behavior.
"He was her boss, and so when he would make those overtures toward her either physically or by text messages, she was in a position where she was trying to keep her job and placate and diffuse, and very frequently would try to get him off of that onto something else and he would just keep coming back to it," said Matt Kirby, Watt's legal associate.
"And she finally got to the point where she couldn’t’ take it anymore and she left.”
Scaman and the county disagree, however.
“When all of the texts are looked at in context, it is clear that the texts were mutual and in jest,” an answer filed in response to the complaint says.