Jurors today rejected a former sheriff's clerk's claim that she was sexually harassed by a colleague and punished by superiors for complaining about it.
Lydia Lopez sought $490,000 through the case. She claimed she was driven out of the department, which compelled the single mother to quit her job and and pushed her to homelessness.
The case was argued before jurors for the past five weeks with lawyers representing Stanislaus County making Lopez’s credibility a centerpiece in their defense of Sheriff’s Lt. Bill Pooley and Sheriff Adam Christianson.
Judge Hurl Johnson this week dismissed the lawsuit’s most salacious claim, that Pooley had forced Lopez to grope him six years ago. A janitor whom she had named as a witness told the jury he did not see the incident.
The verdict is a victory for Christianson, who is seeking re-election in June. His department has been the focus of legal challenges from 10 current and former female employees.