A federal lawsuit filed Wednesday alleges sexual misconduct by the county’s president judge, as well as workplace discrimination against a Butler County probation officer.
Named as defendants in the lawsuit are President Judge Thomas Doerr; Thomas Holman, court administrator; and Douglas Ritson, chief probation officer; as well as the Butler County Court and the 50th Judicial District.
The Butler Eagle reports that the woman met Doerr at a Christmas party in 2004, and after that event, Doerr called Doe a number of times, insisting they meet. She eventually went to Doerr’s chambers on a Friday evening in February 2005. The two were alone in the courthouse that evening and engaged in sexual intercourse, the lawsuit states.
That evening Doerr stated that it would be a “business” relationship, according to the lawsuit, and that the prospect that Doe would be hired to serve as a probation officer was implicit and was discussed that evening.
The lawsuit claims Doe is the victim of workplace discrimination, including involuntary reassignments and harassment.
The suit alleges Doerr did use his influence to get the woman hired in 2005. The relationship between the two allegedly continued for four years, with the woman alleging she felt she couldn’t resist Doerr’s requests for sex without her job being put in jeopardy.
“Once she began her work for the Butler County Court of Common Pleas, Doerr began again, to summon her to his chambers for sexual relations. Doe felt that she had little choice and did not resist his command. She felt that she had no choice, given the power disparity; therefore, she succumbed,” the suit states.
The woman alleges she “eventually decided to terminate the affair, and the sexual encounters ceased. But the consequences of the affair have persisted to this day.”
The lawsuit claims Doe is the victim of workplace discrimination, including involuntary reassignments, harassment and mistreatment, because two of her superiors resented her for her access to and contact with the judge. Butler County Court Administrator Thomas Holman and Chief Probation Officer Douglas Ritson are also named in the suit.
In February 2016, Doe contacted the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and indicated her intent to file a Charge of Discrimination. The lawsuit claims when Doe advised her supervisors of her intent to file the charge, she experienced retaliation in the form of a job performance review.
As of this time, more women have contacted Butler News saying that they have been harassed by Doerr, including name calling, belittling and groping of women in chambers at the Butler County Courthouse.
Butler News will be posting copies of the legal writ that was filed this week, as well as we know the name of the party, at this time we will not be releasing that.
Stay tuned for updates today on this breaking story.