On Wednesday the Limestone County Sheriff’s Office addressed the lawsuit against them alleging sexual assault and discrimination.
An investigator with the department says she was assaulted by her superior and then reprimanded by the sheriff. The Sheriff’s Office spokesman talked about the situation for about two minutes, but wouldn’t directly comment on any of the allegations, nor take questions.
Veteran investigator with the Limestone County Sheriff’s Offfice Leslie Ramsey alleges Chief Deputy Fred Sloss sexually assaulted her in his driveway in 2017. After that, she claims Sheriff Mike Blakely retaliated by threatening to fire her and by demoting her.
Court documents say Sloss told Ramsey he’d promote her to captain if she went along with his assault and hen Sloss put her under increased scrutiny, including having her followed after the Sheriff’s Rodeo that spring. That’s when Blakely allegedly threatened to fire Ramsey and told her to see a psychiatrist.
The lawsuit says Ramsey was demoted from investigator as her male counterparts were promoted to positions she was more qualified for. The suit also names multiple alleged instances in which male officers lost evidence, were arrested, or were supposedly intoxicated on duty and were not reprimanded.
Public Information Offier Stephen Young says the sheriff’s office was legally advised to not address specifics.
“However it’s also important that we reassure the people of Limestone County that just as the sheriff’s office is committed to serving them with integrity and kindness, we are also equally committed to providing the best work environment possible for all our employees,” Young said.
In the press conference, Young calls Limestone County a great place and says the department will continue their commitment to equal treatment.
Ramsey is demanding monetary compensation. Court documents also read she demands a trail by jury.
In a statement on Tuesday, the sheriff’s office said:
“Sheriff Blakely, Chief Sloss, and the Limestone County Sheriff’s Office have always been proactive in their commitment to treating everyone, including our employees, with equal respect and dignity in every way possible. While we are unable to provide a detailed response at this time on advice of counsel, we want to assure the people of Limestone County that our commitment to equality and providing the best workplace environment possible for everyone remains steadfast.”
Wednesday, they held a press briefing:
See the complete lawsuit below. (Warning: contains graphic language.)