Sexual harassment alleged in Watsontown lawsuit
A former public works supervisor in Watsontown has filed a lawsuit against the borough, claiming Borough Manager Edie Moser sexually harassed him for four months beginning in February of last year and borough employees treated him unfairly, according to court documents filed at the Lycoming County Courthouse.
Scott Winters, of Montoursville, alleges Moser made inappropriate remarks to him during his tenure and touched him in ways that made him feel uncomfortable.
Winters claims that when he told Moser to stop she said, “Well, you better keep boss lady happy because council will listen to whatever I tell them.”
Winters’ complaint also states that when the borough council found out about Moser’s actions, Moser and the council “systematically engaged in behavior that eventually led” to Winters’ dismissal.
Winters claimed in the lawsuit that Moser made negative comments to other borough employees about him, calling him a liar and troublemaker.
These comments caused the employees to disrespect him and “caused a hostile workplace,” according to Winters.
Court papers also state that Winters became so concerned for his safety that he reached out to Watsontown police Chief Dennis Derr to no avail.
“No reports were generated by the Watsontown Police Department, nor were any arrests initiated by Chief Derr’s police department,” court papers state.
The complaint alleges the borough wrongfully terminated Winters in direct retaliation for his exercise of free speech.
According to Winters, his termination resulted in a loss of wages and significant mental anguish, embarrassment and humiliation. Winters also blamed his termination for his being removed from a volunteer position as an area emergency management coordinator.
Winters also is involved in another lawsuit in which he accuses the police chief of defamation.
Winters said Derr wrote a memo, detailing his concerns about Winters’ potential for workplace violence. As a result of the memo, Winters claims, he was placed on an “indefinite, paid leave of absence from his duties” as public works supervisor, pending a psychological evaluation.
The lawsuit claims that Derr published “the lies on numerous occasions,” injuring Winters’ reputation.
In both lawsuits, Winters is seeking $50,000 in damages, plus interest and court costs. He is being represented by Williamsport attorney Christian Lovecchio.