Whitman County assessor faces sexual harassment lawsuit

Kip Hill The Spokesman-Review

Whitman County’s longtime assessor is in federal court in Spokane this week, fighting a sexual harassment lawsuit brought by an employee.

Joe Reynolds, who has served as assessor in Whitman County since 1991, described his office as “loose” and that employees “talked nasty at times,” according to court filings. Yet Brenda Arthur, who started working for the office in 2000, says Reynolds crossed the line, touching her inappropriately and making several sexually explicit remarks during the past several years. The alleged harassment prompted Arthur to request time off and to seek medical help for physical and emotional distress.

Whitman County investigated Arthur’s harassment allegations in 2010. It was the third such complaint against Reynolds, according to court records.

Whitman County assessor faces sexual harassment lawsuit

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