County denies jail lawsuit allegations

Published 5:00 am Friday, October 22, 2004

The Lincoln County Sheriff’s Department is now facing a thirdsexual harassment lawsuit over alleged inappropriate activity bytwo former jail employees.

County officials contend, however, the latest lawsuit like theothers is without merit.

“We are in the process of investigating it and have denied allthe allegations,” County Attorney Bob Allen said Thursday.

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The lawsuit, which presents only one side of a legal argument,was filed last week by Doreen Morice Dickerson, of 533 Felps Lane,who alleged sexual harassment and sexual assault while she wasincarcerated in May earlier this year. Named defendants include thecounty, Sheriff Wiley Calcote, Assistant Jail Warden Joe Price andJailer/Transport Officer Andrew Graham.

The latest complaint follows similar lawsuits filed in July andSeptember.

All three plaintiffs in the lawsuits are represented by theJackson law firm of Bell, Flechas and Gaggini. The three lawsuitscombined seek more than $9 million in damages.

Allen said Thursday that an investigation conducted after thefirst complaint found no wrongdoing on the county’s part. Price andGraham were terminated following that investigation, but Allenrejected a suggestion that their dismissal was linked to thecomplaint.

“It doesn’t necessarily mean they did what the complaint says,”Allen said. “It means they could have done something unbecoming anofficer.”

Calcote, who was cited in a supervisory capacity, said he hadseen the third lawsuit but directed requests for comments to Allen.When officials were served, Allen said that was the first time thecounty was aware of any complaints related to the thirdlawsuit.

The two earlier lawsuits seek $2 million and $3 millionrespectively. The latest lawsuit seeks $4 million for compensatoryand other damages.