Internal investigators with Louisiana's corrections department found substantiated claims of sexual harassment against the agency's then-medical director — which led to his termination — and found a possible pattern of such behavior by the man, according to their report.
Dr. Raman Singh, who served as statewide medical director for the Department of Public Safety and Corrections until he was fired in late November, was found to have sexually harassed a DPSC employee at a conference of corrections officials at the Golden Nugget Casino/Hotel in Lake Charles on Oct. 16, according to documents obtained through a public records request by The Advocate.
The investigative file also shows that another woman had previously come to Human Resources in 2016 to discuss a separate incident of possible sexual harassment by Singh on a different work trip, but never filed a formal complaint.
Singh denies either instance of sexual harassment ever happened. Singh, who began working for the state in 2002, filed a lawsuit last week against the corrections department, its secretary, James LeBlanc, and the employee, asking state District Judge Wilson Fields to declare him factually and legally innocent of sexual harassment.
The Louisiana corrections department's recently fired medical director says sexual harassment allegations lodged against him are false, malici…
The investigative report contains detailed accounts from the employee, a witness and Singh about the night of the incident.
The woman who filed the complaint told investigators Singh came up behind her while she was sitting at the bar and "wrapped both arms around her at chest level around her breasts." She said he then "began talking to me with his face very close to my ear," telling her, "I know I am going to get fired."
After he left, the witness noticed the employee was visibly upset.
The employee and the witness walked to the restroom, where they passed Singh.
"He grabbed my left arm, and pulled it across his chest and neck," the employee said in her statement. She said while he was holding her arm, he said "I am drunk so I can tell you this, I love you."
The employee said both interactions happened very fast and she was shocked, but at the end of the second encounter she told Singh to "f*****g act right."
In Singh's interview with investigators, "he adamantly denied that he ever touched (her)."
Singh said he had stopped to speak with her on his way back from the restroom that night, when he told her, "I want you to know that I loved to work with you. You are one of the best employees."
He said she appeared to be intoxicated, so he walked away and they had no further contact. He told investigators he had two drinks in a period of six hours that night.
The majority of the nine other people interviewed by investigators said they didn't see any interaction between Singh and the employee. However, many told investigators that the employee did appear visibly upset, one saw Singh extremely intoxicated, and one saw Singh approach her and talk to her in close proximity, the report says.
The investigators said they attempted to get video surveillance from the Rush Bar, but the bar was unable to pull any recorded video from the the date and times in question.
The investigation found the woman's allegation of sexual harassment to be substantiated.
Attorney Jill Craft, who is representing Singh, said she is subpoenaing the casino tapes and has sent the casino a letter asking them to preserve the surveillance from that night. Craft said she has heard the tapes do exist, which she contends will prove her client's innocence.
Also in the investigative file is a separate allegation involving a work trip Singh took with the other female employee to Sandestin, Florida, in June 2016 to give a presentation.
Though that employee never made a formal complaint against Singh, three months after that trip she had gone to Human Resources. She said Singh had "disparaged" her work after he developed "personal feelings" for her that were not returned.
The Human Resources official had made a note about that conversation, which investigators called upon as they looked into Singh's past record.
The employee told investigators Singh was "fairly insistent" that she accompany him on a work trip. She said when they went to the beach there, he was insistent she take off her clothes to reveal her swimsuit and kept buying her alcoholic drinks.
She said he later insisted she go to dinner with him, where he told her about another work trip he took with a woman who "looked so good" he wanted to have sex with her, but did not. Then he told her, "Like right now, I want to have sex with you, but I will not," her statement says. She said the entire weekend made her uncomfortable.
She said upon her return, she "learned that he had tried very hard to get approval for me to go on that trip. There was some sort of issue with approval and I found out he had paid for my room himself," the report says.
The investigators found this alleged conduct, along with the substantiated finding from the formal complaint, gives "substantial credibility to an established pattern of repetitive behavior."
"Singh denied the allegations and said the trip was strictly professional," the report says. However, Singh did admit he paid for her room on the trip.
Craft said Singh had indeed wanted the woman to come on the trip because she had put the presentation together and deserved to attend. Craft said Singh paid for the woman's room when he learned the paperwork for her to attend was not filed in time.
"The truth is going to come out," Craft said. "He is very much still looking forward to vindicating his good name."
The investigative report goes on to say that based on interviews with other employees, the employee and Singh "have several undocumented work-related conflicts. … While no prior incident has risen to the level of harassment, it appears that Singh has encroached the boundaries of a professional work environment."
The employee declined comment when reached by phone Monday.
Singh, in his lawsuit, claims department officials offered him a deal on Nov. 7 that if he resigned, all records of the probe, including any and all complaints, would "disappear." Singh recorded the Nov. 7 conversation, in which, Craft said, DPSC representatives alluded to having destroyed such information before.
Department of Corrections spokesman Ken Pastorick disputed that allegation and said the recording was taken out of context.
"The Department’s policy allows for the informal mediation conference to resolve the harassment claim," Pastorick wrote in an email Monday. "If at that point the complaint is resolved, our policy states the investigation shall be discontinued."
If it had been discontinued then with Singh's resignation, the complaint would not have become part of Singh's personnel file, Pastorick said, though it would have stayed in investigative files.
"We have full confidence in the Department's Investigative Unit, and believe its investigators did a thorough job in reviewing this allegation," Pastorick said.
Editor's note: This story was updated after publication to remove the name of the employee who filed a sexual harassment complaint.