Former Will jail guard files second suit vs. sheriff’s dept.
BY CASEY TONER email@example.com July 20, 2012 10:23AM
Updated: February 19, 2013 1:52PM
The Will County Sheriff’s Department hired a private investigative firm to harass a former employee to get her to drop a sexual harassment lawsuit against the department, according to the woman’s new lawsuit.
It says Maris O’Leary worked as a Will County Jail guard in March 2006, went on medical leave in June 2007 and was terminated in April 2012. She sued the department in 2008, alleging that her co-workers sexually harassed her by making lewd remarks repeatedly toward her.
That suit is still pending, but this week O’Leary filed a federal suit, claiming that the sheriff’s office retaliated against her in late 2010 because of the earlier lawsuit.
Sheriff’s officers often drove past her house, snowballs were thrown against its windows and once a man wearing a black hoodie with “sheriff” written across the back rummaged around her house, according to the lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in Chicago. It says a photo of a jail guard accused in her first suit of sexually harassing her and seven other guards was left on O’Leary’s windshield in September 2010 to intimidate her.
The lawsuit also contends that the sheriff’s department hired the Insight Group to follow and videotape O’Leary, monitor her home, photograph her family and place repeated hang-up phone calls her to her house during March 2010. When O’Leary complained to the department, she was told that if she asked the judge to dismiss her sexual harassment case “all this would go away,” according to the lawsuit.
A sheriff’s department spokesman could not be reached Thursday for comment on the suit.