Sheriff Bill Elder rehired a commander who was guilty of the same civil rights violation — sexual harassment — as Elder's predecessor, according to a federal court lawsuit filed this summer. Elder reinstated Rob King in January 2015 after Elder replaced Sheriff Terry Maketa, who was labeled a harasser and was accused of having affairs with subordinates.
King also was a harasser, alleges Tiffany Huntz and her husband John, both of whom worked for the Sheriff's Office. King made comments about Huntz's body, asked for nude pictures of her and wanted her to have sex with his wife, the lawsuit says.
After King was placed on administrative leave by Maketa for unrelated reasons, she filed a complaint in 2014 and took family leave, the suit says. Elder's command staff later retaliated against her husband by placing him on the jail's midnight shift, a punitive measure. Tiffany Huntz made similar allegations of retaliation. She left the office in spring 2015 alleging a hostile work environment. After King returned to duty, he was labeled a "hero" for telling media Tiffany Huntz had an affair with Maketa, which was false, the lawsuit says.
Huntz and her husband, who also left his job, are suing Elder and the county. The suit contends Commander Bob McDonald, King's friend, participated in creating a hostile workplace. King and other sheriff's employees remain in litigation against the county over an alleged hostile work environment created by Maketa.
In its 21-page motion to dismiss, the county disputes the allegations, saying, in part, "no evidence exists in the Complaint that the actions of King were unwelcomed."