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Beasmore seeks $1.5M in sex device, porn suit

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Ex-judge candidate Drury expected to testify; recording of Chambers, Beasmore among evidence

By Ben Carlson

Fired county employee Lea Beasmore is seeking $1.5 million in her sexual harassment lawsuit against the fiscal court, according to documents recently filed in Anderson Circuit Court.
Those documents also reveal the names of likely witnesses for the trial scheduled to begin next month— including one notable surprise — and a demand from the county’s attorney for Beasmore to admit she e-mailed a photo of a topless female to a coworker.
Other documents released include the county’s exhibit list, which includes a taped conversation between Beasmore and former highway foreman Chip Chambers, who Beasmore claims harassed her while she worked for him.
Also revealed is how Judge Charles Hickman ruled on a series of Beasmore’s motions to exclude her journal and information about her relationship with her husband from the trial.
The notable witness is former judge-executive candidate Donna Drury, who will apparently testify on the county’s behalf despite her close affiliation with Beasmore during her campaign last fall.
Drury is expected to testify about statements Beasmore made about Chambers while Beasmore worked for Drury’s campaign. The documents do not say what Drury is expected to reveal about those statements.
Beasmore filed the lawsuit after she was fired in 2009, claiming not only that Chambers harassed her, but that she was given a sexual device commonly known as a vibrator by a coworker and exposed to pornographic videos after former judge-executive Steve Cornish moved her job from the highway facility to his office on Main Street.
One of the documents reveal that the fiscal court’s attorneys have made a second demand that Beasmore admit that she sent an e-mail containing a photo of a topless female to a coworker in the judge-executive’s office.
Beasmore declined to answer the first demand for the information, saying that the request was “vague and overly broad.”
“If [Beasmore] has never sent [the coworker] an e-mail that contained a picture of a topless female, then her answer would [be] ‘deny,’ ” the county’s attorneys responded. “On the other hand, if she has sent one or a thousand e-mails to [the coworker] that contained pictures of a topless female, then her answer would be ‘admit’.” Circuit Judge Hickman upheld only part of Beasmore’s motion to exclude a journal, and will allow those portions of the journal that do not include hearsay.
Hickman also upheld Beasmore’s request to have her previous work history excluded from the trial, along with a portion of her husband Kevin’s deposition in which he discusses their personal relationship.
The county’s attorney argued that Lea Beasmore’s work history was relevant because of previous allegations she allegedly made regarding sexual harassment. Hickman wrote that the complaints “cannot be presented to establish that Beasmore has a propensity to file sexual harassment complaints.”
Hickman wrote that portions of Kevin Beasmore’s deposition “appear to be an attempt to introduce an event unrelated to these claims to embarrass and shame [Lea Beasmore].”
Hickman overruled Beasmore’s attempt to suppress sexual conversations she had with a coworker while the two were out of the judge-executive’s office on a coffee break.
“These conversations are being offered to establish Beasmore’s workplace conduct and attitudes regarding matters of a sexual nature,” Hickman wrote. “Beasmore’s claims require proof that she subjectively found the work environment to be offensive and abusive and that the environment was offensive and abusive.”