Local News

Administrator sues college after alleged gum incident

Posted January 22, 2009

— An employee at Johnston Community College has filed a civil rights lawsuit against the school, claiming administrators failed to protect her from sexual harassment.

Paula Parrish, an administrator at the college, caught Harold Jones on a Web cam masturbating in her office and then touching items on her desk, including gum.

Jones, 68, was arrested last month on a felony food-tampering charge based on General Statutes Section 14-101.11, which prohibits anyone from knowingly distributing any edible substance that contains any other substance that could be damaging to another person's heath.

Parrish has claimed that Jones and one of her superiors were harassing her and that the incidents were swept under the rug.

The college gave Jones, who was a maintenance worker, the option to retire after Parrish filed a complaint with the school. When it did not pursue a criminal investigation, Parish pursued her complaint to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and then, last month, to Smithfield police.

Gordon Woodruff, an attorney for the college, has said administrators there took immediate action upon receiving the complaint about Jones. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission agreed.

Jones has said that he is embarrassed by his behavior and that he does not know why he did what he did.


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  • flipper59 Jan 27, 2009

    "He needs to be in jail, and be forced to get pyschotherapy, he's a sick man."

    He has the recently retired johnston county school board, board of education, the high powered highly respected Jack O'hale as his defense attorney.


  • flipper59 Jan 27, 2009

    "These admins need to be sent to sexual harrassment training!"

    How about one of thee teaching sexual harrasment classes as punishment. I wonder if those classes were on the tax payer dime, or did thee take personal leave time while educating his classes about sexual harrasment. No doubt thee knew how to teach this class??

  • lorivalentine1 Jan 27, 2009

    Generally speaking I think people look for any reason to sue these days. In this case however, she should sue. What happened and the lack of disciplinary action after the fact was criminal.
    It is crazy the school offered him a retirement..

  • flipper59 Jan 27, 2009

    HappyGirl08 there is much more mentioned this lady has tolerated since her first year of employment which would be the year 2000. Having hope things would change became no longer an option for her

  • Eduardo1 Jan 27, 2009


  • HappyGirl08 Jan 27, 2009

    Well this is the first of an administrator harrassing her that I have read, but I wish her luck.

  • christinebbd Jan 27, 2009

    I agree with this woman, she SHOULD file a lawsuit. They swept it under the rug, and I'm outraged that my taxes are going to pay for his comfy retirement! He needs to be in jail, and be forced to get pyschotherapy, he's a sick man. What makes you think this was the first time or his only target???

    He should have been fired for sexual harrassment and food tampering! I can't believe we're in 2009 when we have people who brush things under the rug. These admins need to be sent to sexual harrassment training!

  • flipper59 Jan 23, 2009

    And, btw, for the slow educated in work place sexual no no's

    A male employee touching a female co-worker on her buttock IS against the law of the US of A
    the "blue dog" not excluded here. either

  • flipper59 Jan 23, 2009

    I hear one of the, still spouts out his dirty comments.

    Seems to me, some will never learn.

    Learn from your mistakes. "blue dog" Politicians not excluded

  • jimbo141 Jan 23, 2009

    WOW, i guess this is a "sticky" situation!