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Town staffer files EEOC complaint

Chelsey Riemann, Farragut’s public relations coordinator, has filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Com-mission regarding alleged sexual harassment at Town Hall.

“I have been subjected to sexual harassment by Dan Olson, the [former] Town Administra-tor, and I have complained of such harassment on several occasions to my direct supervisor, [Sue Stuhl],” the complaint states.

“Ms. Stuhl can verify my complaints and the failure of the Town to take effective action concerning my complaints.”

Riemann was hired Aug. 9, 2004. Since the winter of 2006, Riemann has reported Olson allegedly staring at her, following her into rooms or at events, and making inappropriate comments.

In the EEOC complaint, four other Town employees provide other examples of odd behavior on Olson’s part, either directed toward themselves or at Riemann.

Such examples include Olson’s alleged comments about Riemann’s food choices at lunch or comments about a photograph that ran in the newspaper: Olson told Riemann she was “very photogenic and quite striking.”

At a Christmas party in 2006, Olson allegedly asked Riemann, wearing leopard-print boots and jacket, “if those were the only two pieces of clothing [she] was wearing that were leopard.”

In May 2008, Stuhl “engaged in a very heated discussion with Town Attorney Tom Hale” regarding Olson. Hale asked why Riemann “can’t just take a compliment” and alleged she and Stuhl “are just trying to get Dan fired.”

Riemann met with attorney Pamela Reeves for the first time in May, after Town employees discovered inappropriate material in Olson’s desk. After the meeting, Olson was “talked to” by Hale and Reeves.

After a Nov. 4 farragutpress article regarding e-mails and allegations against Olson, Olson allegedly confronted Riemann in the Town copy room, waved his fingers at her and said, “Oooo, it’s magic.”

The following day, Riemann and Stuhl met with Alderman Dot LaMarche at her home, and Riemann wrote a memo to the Board of Mayor and Aldermen regarding Olson’s actions. The EEOC complaint also includes memos from Anne LaGrow and Stuhl, who corroborate Riemann’s account. A memo from Alexis Crawford denotes other alleged odd behavior on Olson’s part.

A memo from Community Development Director Ruth Hawk states Olson’s behavior “shows lack of self control and judgement [sic] … I am concerned about what Dan might do if he found Chelsey were alone. Everything else aside, this behavior creeps me out.”

Hawk relates a situation in which she felt threatened by Olson: “I felt violated, unnerved, and scared, all at the same time. Knowing for that moment how I felt, it scared me and hurt me to think about how Dan has been making Chelsey feel for these past two plus years.”

“The Town of Farragut Personnel Manual clearly states that any type of harassment, especially sexual harassment, will not be tolerated in the workplace. However, it has been tolerated and is negatively affecting not only me, but also many of my co-workers who are acutely aware of and involved in the situation,” Riemann said in the complaint.


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