Friday, February 24, 2017
JACKSON Hinds County Sheriff Victor Mason is facing a second federal lawsuit on allegations of sexual harassment by what is now three women.
Belinda Jones filed her lawsuit in federal court Wednesday claiming that the sheriff demoted her after she was unreceptive to Mason's sexual advances. Jones started at the department as a reserve deputy, and then was promoted to the position of sergeant of the Background Investigation Department. After she rejected the alleged sexual advances, the lawsuit states, the department demoted her to the position of records clerk at the Raymond Detention Center.
The lawsuit specifically claims that "Mason subjected her to discrimination on account of her sex by continuously engaging her in sexual banter with him in exchange for employment and continued employment with the Hinds County Sheriff's Department.
Those allegations represent only side of a legal dispute.
Former Hinds County Chief Deputy Cheryl Matory alleges that Mason demanded she help him form a sexual relationship with a female officer, Tomeca Barnes. Barnes later joined Matory's lawsuit in January.
The lawsuit further states that Mason's advances "had the effect of unreasonably interfering with the Plaintiffs' work performance and creating an intimidating, hostile and offensive working environment for both women."
The sheriff has not yet filed responses yet to either complaint. He could not be reached for comment today.
Mayor Tony Yarber and the City of Jackson are also facing several lawsuits over sexual-harassment and race-discrimination allegations by former employees.