Local News

Ex-Employees' Credibility Questioned in Sex Harassment Case

Posted September 27, 2007

— Defense witnesses continued to chip away Thursday at the claims of several men who said they were fired by Smithfield's Chicken 'n Bar-B-Q founder and Chief Executive Gregory Moore after refusing his sexual advances.

Jason Hallaman sued Moore three years ago for sexual harassment, alleging he was fired as Moore's personal assistant in 2002 after he rebuffed several advances from Moore.

Earlier this week, four other former Smithfield's employees – Lowell Kirk, John Vann, Paul Boyd and Randy Martin – testified that they also had been fired from their jobs between 2002 and last year after rejecting sexual overtures from Moore.

Steven Blue testified Thursday that he worked at Moore's farm and purchased horses with Martin. He said Martin bought horses for the farm that weren't up to Moore's standards.

Jeremy Smith, a private contractor who once attended a party with Martin, said Martin was made advances toward him.

Current Smithfield's employees Russell Boisvert and Amy Obermieller testified that Vann botched a job involving a tax package and disputed his claim that he served as Moore's chief of staff.

Hallaman's attorney's challenged Obermieller about her knowledge about what may have occured outside the company's Cary headquarters, noting the Hallaman and the other former employees alleged Moore's sexual advances were made at other locations.

Moore has acknowledged, in pretrial documents, that he is bisexual, but denied any wrongdoing in the case.

Defense attorneys have said Hallaman was fired because of poor job performance and because he had signed Moore's name to a check for auto detailing services.

Moore's daughter, Margaret, on Wednesday disputed Hallaman's claims that her father went into Hallaman's bedroom during a 2002 trip to the family's beach house.


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  • linnway Sep 28, 2007

    NC Forester - THis matter is not over sexual assault. It is over sexual harassment. Civil court proceedings are public record.

  • johnpfranklin Sep 27, 2007

    They never give the whole story in these articles. And if the daughter was present during pretty much all the times this supposed "victim" claims he was harassed, I think she is a very important witness, not just a distraction.

    He claims the harassment started in the car - in which the daughter was also driving in - so you do the math.

    It is funny that he settled the prior case, but I always wonder about that. There is a thing called nuisance value. Lawyers are very expensive. I would bet anything he settled for an amount in the other case that would have been less than defending a trial. Settlements sound great, but sometimes they are for a lot less than you would expect.

    I heard the Hallaman guy was demanding something like $800,000.00. Looking for easy money - you've got that right!

  • shine Sep 27, 2007

    "Martin said advances were made toward him ? Who Jeremy Smith ... not clear.

    I think there are two sides to every story......

  • Adelinthe Sep 27, 2007

    "This man has problems. He also apparently doesn't know much about running a business if he is constantly looking to employees to keep him happy, and then punishing them if they fail to do so. sic sic sic"

    There's no proof that he's actually done this. It's exactly what this trial is about, and as far as I can determine, the complaining EX-employees aren't doing too well.

    But determining a verdict before the jury is done, like the above statement does, is wrong in this country - innocent until proven guilty...remember?

    Praying for all.

    God bless.

    Rev. RB

  • FragmentFour Sep 27, 2007

    Given the track record this man is credited with piling up, it might be wise if he hired women in the future - his dealings with male employees seems rocky at best, regardless of how these charges come out!

  • givemeabreak Sep 27, 2007

    yada yada yada! I don't care. Let it go.....this is again not the publics business.

  • johnny g Sep 27, 2007

    The one guy probably did some things that were unprofessional, and the other guy obviously wants an easy paycheck. I am tired of seeing so many articles on this case.

  • ranquick Sep 27, 2007

    There is a hug difference between Gay and Bi, but I agree he must know something about running a business. Apparently the Lawyer thinks his daughter can hurt the chances of the sexual harrassment charges and from what I read two other employees stated that he was fired becasue of Blotched jobs. Not looking good for the complaintant

  • NC Forester Sep 27, 2007

    What happened to with holding names of victims of sexual assault? Oh that's right, these are men!

  • IdoNOTliveinDurham Sep 27, 2007

    If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck............................