Local News

Smithfield's Bar-B-Q founder wants harassment settlement voided

Posted July 11, 2008 7:08 p.m. EDT
Updated July 11, 2008 7:12 p.m. EDT

— Attorneys for the founder of Smithfield's Chicken 'n Bar-B-Q say a former employee's attorneys bribed witnesses in a sexual harassment case, and they want a settlement withdrawn.

Gregory Moore's attorneys have filed a motion on his behalf, saying the payment of witnesses on behalf of plaintiff Jason Hallaman is a "fraud upon the adverse parties in this case and a fraud upon the court."

Hallaman claimed he was fired as Moore's personal assistant in 2002 after he rebuffed sexual advances from Moore.

The two reached the undisclosed settlement for punitive damages after a jury ordered Moore to pay $1.15 million in compensatory and other damages. Moore, however, denied any wrongdoing.

Hallaman's attorneys, who say Moore has failed to make two scheduled settlement payments, say they paid for some witnesses' travel expenses but deny that they bribed any witnesses.

They want the judge to dismiss the motion and order Moore to continue with the payments.

Last month, another former employee filed a lawsuit claiming Moore raped him and continually made sexual advances during a two-year period. The plaintiff said Moore threatened to fire him if he did not comply.

Through representatives, Moore maintains the two were in a consensual sexual relationship.