Greene County stands by decision to settle sex harassment suit; reveals former clerk’s emails

GREENEVILLE (WJHL) – Greene County mayor David Crum released an eye-opening statement about a recent decision to settle a sexual harassment lawsuit involving its former county clerk David Thompson. The six-page statement,  from the Greene County Insurance Committee, lays out several details from the county’s internal investigation.

WEB EXTRA: Greene County’s letter decision to settle (.pdf)

The county recently paid $100,000 to former employee Michelle Burke. The county’s statement includes samples of the email conversation between Burke and Thompson.

In the statement, the county maintains spending the money to settle the lawsuit was the best decision for taxpayers.

Recently, Thompson told WJHL he disagreed with the county’s decision to settle with Burke.

“Based on Mr. Thompson’s criticisms and statements, the Insurance Committee feels compelled to publicly respond to this accusation because nothing could be further from the truth,” said the county’s insurance committee in the letter.

According to the letter,  Thompson admitted that “there were occasions in which he would call Ms. Burke back to his office during the work day….”

Burke’s attorney’s demanded the settlement includes a stipulation that Thompson not seek elective office in Greene County in order “to protect other women from such conduct”.

The letter reveals during the litigation process, Thompson cooperated with the county attorneys by providing access to an email account he used to communicate Burke.  “However,” according to the letter, “Mr. Thompson had deleted from that account all of the emails he had sent to Ms. Burke. so our attorneys could see what she had sent him, but could not see what he had sent her.”

The insurance committee revealed that, “Those emails established that [Thompson] had a sexual relationship with [Burke] from sometime in 2009 until the end of her employment in August 2012.”

Click here to see more details of the alleged emails exchanged between Thompson and Burke. 

Thompson resigned in 2014 amid allegations of sexual harassment by several women.

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