Raleigh, N.C. — The fight between factions of the North Carolina Democratic party heated up Tuesday with allegations of harassment, intimidation and wrongful termination.
WRAL News has obtained a copy of an Equal Employment Opportunity Commission complaint filed against the party by former Finance Director Ellen Stankiewicz, who was terminated by Chairman Randy Voller in May.
In documents sent to the party's Council of Review and provided to WRAL News by a third-party source, Stankiewicz accuses Voller and his allies of harassing, bullying and physically intimidating her. Two witnesses also signed the statement.
Stankiewicz says she was fired in retaliation after she filed an EEOC complaint because Voller and party staffer Casey Mann refused to make reasonable accommodations for a chronic health problem.
Her EEOC complaint was filed May 7. Eight days later, at 3:33 a.m. on May 15, a termination letter was emailed to her from Voller's Gmail account.
The termination letter, however, is dated and notarized April 23, 2013 – three weeks prior to its delivery, and two weeks before Stankiewicz filed her complaint. It was witnessed by Pittsboro notary Wendie Morris.
Stankiewicz declined to comment, citing the pending complaint.
The party's attorney in the case, David Harris, says his client "categorically denies" the allegations.
Harris said Voller decided to eliminate Stankiewicz's position on April 23 as a matter of "simple downsizing" due to financial pressures.
However, April 23 was the day the news broke that party fundraiser Jamie Hahn had been attacked in her Raleigh home, which Harris cited as the reason for the three-week delay.
"Everyone was still getting over the shock of it all. There was no nefarious reason involved," he said.
Harris said his records show Voller didn't receive notice of the EEOC complaint until May 16, the day after Stankiewicz was fired.
However, two members of the party's upper leadership say that's not the case.
Stankiewicz sent a copy of the EEOC complaint to party officers the day it was filed, they say, and those officers held a meeting to discuss the matter.
They say Voller was informed about the complaint May 8th, and was warned to avoid interaction with Stankiewicz.
Harris said the party has responded to the EEOC charge and has requested its dismissal.
"We made it clear in the response that the party had not violated any EEOC laws, including the Americans with Disabilities Act, and there was no harassment or retaliation whatsoever," he said.