Former employee alleges sexual harassment in lawsuit filed against St. Joseph County officials

NOW: Former employee alleges sexual harassment in lawsuit filed against St. Joseph County officials

ST. JOSEPH COUNTY, Ind.—A federal civil lawsuit alleging sexual harassment has been filed against the St. Joseph County Board of Commissioners and Muhammad Shabazz, a Democratic member of the county’s Board of Voter Registration, according to court documents.

The lawsuit was filed by Trisha Carrico, the former Board of Voter Registration’s Republican deputy clerk.

Carrico claims she was forced to quit her job in November because of “unwanted sexual advances” allegedly made by Shabazz, the complaint said.

Carrico said she worked with Shabazz and during that time, he “frequently flirted with her and made inappropriate remarks of a sexual nature,” court documents said.

According to court documents, Carrico said she reported the unwanted behavior to her supervisor but Shabazz allegedly continued the behavior after he was asked to stop.

Carrico said that she, along with several others in the office, complained to the county’s human resources department about Shabazz, at which point Shabazz was directed to work from home, court documents said.

Shabazz returned to work in person two weeks later, court documents said.

Carrico then resigned from her role with the Board of Voter Registration in November.

Carrico is also claiming that the county permitted Shabazz to continually harass her, court documents said.

The complaint filed on December 18 shows that Carrico is seeking back pay, front pay, reinstatement, compensatory and punitive damages and attorneys’ fees.

Carrico’s attorney said Monday that she has no additional comments on the complaint.

The St. Joseph County Board of Commissioners said they are unable to comment on pending legal action.

A request for comment from Shabazz had not been returned at the time of this writing.

Stan Wruble, the chair of the St. Joseph County Democratic Party, shared the following statement in response to the lawsuit:

“This matter was handled by St. Joseph County Human Resources and any questions should be directed to them.”

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