Sexual Misconduct-Louisiana

Louisiana Secretary of State Tom Schedler, accused in a lawsuit of sexually harassing one of his employees, speaks at a press conference on Wednesday, March 14, 2018, in Baton Rouge, La. Schedler announced he won't resign from his position, but won't run for re-election next year. 

Former Secretary of State Tom Schedler and the woman who led to his abrupt downfall by suing him for sexual harassment have resolved their differences, their attorneys said in a court filing Friday.

Lawyers representing state employee Dawn Ross, Schedler and the state filed a joint motion to dismiss the lawsuit that Ross filed in Baton Rouge state court in February.

Schedler resigned in May, comparing media coverage of the suit to gossipy "tabloid" fodder. He would have been up for a third term next year.

Both sides are asking state District Judge Tim Kelley to dismiss the case, saying "the parties have amicably resolved their differences."

No terms of the out-of-court settlement are included in the court filing by Jill Craft, who represents Ross; Floyd Falcon Jr., who represents Schedler individually; and Special Assistant Attorneys General John Walsh, Mary Ann White and Caroline Tomeny Bond, who represent the state and the Secretary of State's Office.

Ross, who was Schedler's onetime executive secretary for a time, claims he sexually harassed her for more than a decade and retaliated against her after she rejected his unrelenting advances by transferring her to undesirable assignments.

Ross, who came forward publicly after filing the suit, alleged that Schedler sent her love letters and sex tapes. She also said he sent her Valentine's Day cards addressed to "My Dearest Sunshine," roses and clothing.

Schedler, who is married, claimed he had a "consensual sexual relationship" with Ross. She denied that assertion.

Schedler sent Ross sexually suggestive emails over the years, emails that were published by The Advocate. The emails showed he made advances toward Ross during the course of regular business exchanges, using his state email account.

In one email, Schedler told Ross he was trying to "undress" her with his mind.

The prominent St. Tammany Parish Republican once wrote a message to the woman saying he loved her and was always hoping "you would love me back!" He referred to Ross in another exchange as a "hot gal."

Schedler also invited her on cross-country trips and propositioned her with wine and hand-written Christmas and birthday cards.

Ross has said she felt even more uncomfortable after Schedler bought a residence near hers in Baton Rouge and began keeping close tabs on her and her visitors.


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