Fifth SCSO employee announces intent to sue in Gibson case

SHEILA A. MATHEWS :::

A fifth employee of the Spalding County Sheriff’s Office has served anti-litem notice she intends to sue Sheriff Wendell Beam and David Gibson, formerly the captain of the SCSO Uniform Patrol Division.
Melanie Bowen joins four additional female SCSO employees – Jessica Kelley, Kimberley Barnett, Karen Law and Misty Piper in taking legal action alleging mistreatment in the workplace.
According to Eleanor Attwood, who represents all five women, Bowen’s claim will “assert state law tort claims of assault and battery, intentional infliction of emotional distress and negligent supervision/retention.”
Attwood also intends to assert federal law claims of gender discrimination.
“Over the past decade, former captain of the Sheriff’s Department, David Gibson, sexually harassed, intimidated and/or physically assaulted my client. Sheriff Beam and former Sheriff Dee Stewart received numerous complaints regarding Gibson’s misconduct, but failed to take corrective action affording Gibson the opportunity to continue his sexual misconduct towards my client,” Attwood wrote. “As a result of misconduct and the Sheriff’s Office failure to take corrective action, my client has suffered emotional distress for which she is entitled to compensatory and punitive damages. Overall, my client has suffered substantial damages because of the actions of the defendants (Beam and Gibson) estimated at $2 million.”
Gibson retired in lieu of termination on May 22 following an administrative Internal Affairs investigation conducted by the Houston County Sheriff’s Office.
A later criminal investigation conducted by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation resulted in multiple charges against Gibson including aggravated assault, two counts of aggravated sexual battery, interfering with witnesses, violation of oath of office, two counts of simple battery, sexual battery, indecent exposure and stalking.
Beam has stated his office did not conduct an investigation against Gibson sooner because the alleged victims only complained verbally and would not follow through with a formal written complaint to his office.

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