Mayor Rails Against 'Frivolous' Sexual Harassment Suit

Anderson Mayor Kris Ockomon Makes Public Statement

Anderson Mayor Kris Ockomon on Friday categorically denied the claims leveled in a sexual harassment lawsuit filed this week in federal court.

City worker Teresa Spencer claims that Ockomon attempted to approach her sexually in 2007 and started a campaign to have her fired after determining she was not receptive.

In a four-minute statement before supporters Friday, Ockomon lashed out at the credibility of the lawsuit.

"I have never had, nor have I ever attempted, to have an inappropriate relationship with the individual who filed this complaint. Furthermore, I have never had an extramarital affair, period," he said.

In the filing, Spencer, who has worked for Anderson since 1993, claimed Ockomon made sexually suggestive comments about her clothing and appearance.

She claims several people and departments within city government were involved in a plan to oust her and that police officers were asked to "dig up dirt" on her.

The lawsuit claims that Ockomon asked Spencer to accompany him to an amusement park to "ride his rollercoaster" and to go with him on a trip to Washington, D.C., commenting that he had a hotel room with a bed big enough for both of them.

Spencer claims that Ockomon instructed a city employee to hack into the email system to delete a complaint message she sent him after the hotel request.

Ockomon said he would fight the lawsuit.

"The city will defeat this frivolous lawsuit. I'm confident the truth will prevail,” he said. "Throughout these trials and tribulations, my bond between my wife, and my daughter, Amanda, and I has been strengthened."

Ockomon did not take questions after his statement. His supporters cheered as he left the room.

When reached by phone Friday, Spencer told 6News that she is telling the truth and looks forward to her day in court.

An Equal Employment Opportunity Commission complaint that Spencer filed in 2009 was dismissed earlier this year. Spencer said after the EEOC ruling that she planned to file a civil suit.