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Multi-Million $$$ Lawsuit

By Jessie Williams

Former Red Boiling Springs City Clerk Tessa Davis has filed a multi-million-dollar lawsuit against the City of Red Boiling Springs and former Chief of Police Terry Tuck, in which she claims she was the victim of sexual harassment, sexual assault, gender discrimination in the workplace and retaliatory discharge.

The lawsuit, which was filed in Macon County Chancery Court on March 12, 2018, alleges that Ms. Davis was sexually harassed via text messages by Mr. Tuck between March 2017 and July 2017 and that she was physically assaulted by him on three occasions.

Text messages sent between Ms. Davis and Mr. Tuck also accompany the lawsuit. In the text messages, a phone contact labeled “Terry Tuck” asks Ms. Davis if they can have sex, requests that she ‘show some skin’ at work, asks if he can trust her not to get him in trouble for the things he says in the text messages, talks about his feelings for her, and makes numerous other sexual remarks.

The lawsuit states Tuck yielded considerable power in the operations of the City and that he was instrumental in hiring Ms. Davis since he has known her and her family since she was a small child and went to the same church. 

Ms. Davis cites that the City of RBS had no written employee handbooks or sexual harassment policies or procedures in place during her employment and it failed to provide the proper training to employees regarding sexual harassment and gender discrimination in the workplace. 

The lawsuit also talks about an incident on October 16, 2017, when the ex-wife of city water superintendent Chad Owens came to RBS City Hall and made threats against Ms. Davis.

While both Mr. Owens and Ms. Davis were suspended with pay, the lawsuit suggests Mr. Owens was able to continue working as water superintendent and be present at City Hall while Ms. Davis was not. 

Ms. Davis was terminated on October 19, 2017 at a RBS City Council meeting due to this incident, while Mr. Owens was not. 

Ms. Davis claims the City attacked her in their actions as retaliation and that she has been disparaged publicly and endured humiliation with repeated false allegations.

She is seeking compensatory damages totaling $2.3 million, punitive damages totaling $1.25 million, back pay and front pay, court costs and attorney costs.

The lawsuit in its entirety can be seen on pages A13-A14 of this week’s printed issue.