A former employee of city of Chadbourn, North Carolina, is appealing to the town for unemployment benefits, claiming he was humiliated before being wrongfully terminated.
Johnny King worked as the public works supervisor for Chadbourn. During that time, the town manager, Patricia Garrell, allegedly snapped a photo of Johnny’s exposed buttocks while he repaired a pipe leak, WECT reported (video below).
According to Johnny, Garrell arrived at the public works office the next morning announcing that she had attained photos of Johnny’s “butt crack." She then allegedly shared the picture with everyone in the office.
“She knew better than to do something like that,” King told WECT. “In her position of all things, you don't try to belittle somebody in front of everybody."
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Karen King, Johnny’s wife, was angered after hearing about the incident.
“When I found out … she’d come in and humiliated my husband in front of other works,” Karen said. “You know — you have set a precedent. How are they going to respect him? How are they going to follow orders from him?”
She contacted a member of the city council requesting that something be done about Garrell’s actions and to ensure she be held accountable for the incident.
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Despite Karen's appeal, Garrell remained acting town manager for several months after the issue.
According to Johnny, the city attempted to push him out of his job by doing things such as taking away his privilege to use a take-home vehicle as well as adding him to a weekend on-call list. He was also allegedly given assignments that normally required three to four workers.
He has since been placed on sick leave due to the stress induced by the incident. Johnny has filed a complaint against the city with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in Raleigh, North Carolina, claiming that he has had to work in a hostile environment and is the victim of harassment.
Mike Foss, Chadbourn’s director of public works at the time of the incident, allegedly saw what happened. He agrees that Johnny was harassed and even went with him to file his complaint in Raleigh. Foss later filed a complaint of his own.
The men were later fired from their jobs on April 8. Their termination letter cites the complaints they filed.
The two now plan to sue the city of Chadbourn for wrongful termination.
Photo Credit: NBC