Local News

Suit: Housing assistance traded for sex

Posted March 7, 2013 3:46 p.m. EST

— In a civil lawsuit against a Scotland County-based housing aid group, eight women claim agency employees demanded sexual favors in exchange for help with housing subsidies.

The women allege John Wesley and Eric Pender, employees of Four-County Community Services, made sexually suggestive comments and that Pender followed up with phone calls, unwelcome touching and physical intimidation.

One woman claims her benefits were delayed after she refused to have sex with the men. Another claims her benefits were denied.

Four-County, which, according to its website, serves the poor in seven counties in the southern part of the state, vets applicants for federal Section 8 rental programs among other services.

In the lawsuit, the women claim that Pender is a former member of the State Highway Patrol who was dismissed from that duty for sexual harassment.

They claim the threats and bribes made by both men were "widely known among the community and among their co-workers at FCCS."