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Orange County | IN BRIEF / SOUTH ORANGE COUNTY

Saddleback Accused of Sexual Harassment

July 27, 2001|From Times Staff Writers

A business-relations specialist for the Saddleback Valley Unified School District has filed a lawsuit alleging sexual harassment and a discriminatory and hostile working environment that led to her demotion from public-information officer.

In a suit filed in Superior Court this week, Susan Wilson alleges that then-assistant Supt. William Manahan began sexually harassing her in 1999 and that, after Wilson refused to have a relationship with him, he singled her out for discriminatory treatment and made untrue accusations about her ability to perform her duties.

Manahan, who said he was aware that a claim had been filed but has not seen it, strongly denied the allegations Thursday. "There is no truth to it at all," he said.

The district's assistant superintendent for personnel conducted an investigation of Wilson's allegations in May 2000, Manahan said.

"There was no substantiation of any of the information she indicated," he said.

Wilson has also filed a charge of discrimination with the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing and with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

Wilson, who is claiming emotional distress, is seeking unspecified punitive damages.

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