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Another Woman Accuses Chavis of Sex Harassment

August 19, 1994|The Baltimore Sun

BALTIMORE — NAACP Executive Director Benjamin F. Chavis Jr. has been accused of sexual harassment and wrongful discharge by another former employee, a Cleveland-area woman who worked for his wife in Baltimore earlier this year.

The NAACP's general counsel, Dennis C. Hayes, has told board members who sit on a legal committee that the organization has received a letter from a lawyer representing Susan E. Tisdale, said Carl L. Breeding, a national board member from Michigan.

A document being circulated this week to board members by a law firm that has represented Chavis describes Tisdale's allegations. Tisdale, 32, "alleges that she was subjected to advances from Dr. Chavis and was asking for $100,000 in damages for emotional distress," according to the document.

The letter from Cleveland attorney Lawrence Floyd said his client is "considering a lawsuit against the organization for loss of employment."

It was not clear Thursday if any action had been taken on Tisdale's allegations. Floyd would not comment on his letter or his client's charges.

A spokeswoman for Chavis had no comment.

Tisdale's allegations against Chavis were included in the document sent to board members who will meet Saturday in a special session. It has been called to hear Chavis' explanation of a secret deal he negotiated last fall to pay up to $332,400 to Mary E. Stansel to forestall a threatened lawsuit on sexual discrimination and harassment charges.

Stansel, a former aide to Chavis, has since sued him and the NAACP, alleging that they have reneged on the settlement. Chavis has denied her allegations and the NAACP has countersued.

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