Judge dismisses harassment suit against Jackson County Sheriff's Department

Posted at 3:44 PM, May 08, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-08 19:36:43-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – A Jackson County, Mo. judge has dismissed a civil suit filed by a woman alleging sexual harassment in 2015.

The suit, filed by then-Jackson County Sheriff’s Office staffer Christine Lynde, alleged harassment in the department.

Depositions taken as part of the suit included former Jackson County Sheriff Mike Sharp.

It was during these depositions that Sharp revealed a romantic and financial relationship with Lynde which included promotions, raises and trips on taxpayer dollars.

The disclosure of the relationship led to Sharp’s resignation last month as sheriff. 

"The thing that means the most to us at this law firm is that we were part of exposing a set of behaviors that are inconsistent with what the taxpayers of Jackson county expect of their elected officials," said Charlie Harris, the attorney representing Jackson County in the case.

According to Harris, Jackson County paid his law firm about $350,000 to defend the case filed in 2015.

"We have the removal of a politician based upon these accusations and the fact that Jackson County taxpayers no longer have to carry this burden is an extraordinary result," Harris said.

Harris also points out Lynde dropped her case without getting a dime.

"I wasn't surprised at all. Quite frankly, I was disappointed it didn't happen earlier given the significant admissions of the parties in the case," he said.

Lynde in her suit claimed she and a male co-worker at the Jackson County Sheriff's Office sexually harassed her and she was also falsely accused of sexually harassing a female co-worker.

Harris notes Jackson County hired outside investigators to explore those claims and didn't find evidence to support the accusations.

"At my law firm, we would've never taken this case because it was meritless," Harris said.

Kansas City's Popham Law Firm represented Lynde in her lawsuit.

Calls by the 41 Action News Investigators to her attorneys at that firm were not returned.