A special prosecutor will handle a case involving assault allegations by one Jessamine County employee against another.
Jessamine County Attorney Brian Goettl said Monday that Mark Metcalf, the county attorney for Garrard County, had agreed to serve as a special prosecutor in the case, pending approval from the Kentucky attorney general's office.
The case involves a complaint filed recently by Michael Hurst, a Jessamine County 911 dispatcher, alleging that he was assaulted by Evelyn Smith, Jessamine County's human resources director.
Hurst said Monday that the alleged incident occurred May 25 after he and his wife went to Smith's office at the county courthouse, seeking paperwork they thought had been sent there by the Kentucky Retirement System. Hurst alleged in his complaint that Smith grabbed his arm and that his shirt was torn when he tried to pull away. The confrontation occurred in the hallway outside Smith's office, he said.
Smith has denied the allegations, the Jessamine Journal reported.
Hurst contended in an interview Monday that the incident stemmed from his previous support for Tina Griggs, a former Jessamine County Emergency Medical Services worker who filed an internal sexual harassment complaint against Jessamine EMS director Jerry Domidion.
It's the second time in the past few days that a current or former Jessamine County employee has claimed he was retaliated against for backing Griggs.
Andrew Wood, who was fired from the Jessamine EMS earlier this year, contends in a lawsuit against the county that he was denied a promotion and ultimately dismissed because he had expressed support for Griggs. Wood, who alleges various discriminatory practices by the county, is seeking damages and has requested a trial by jury.
Meanwhile, Goettl declined comment on the complaint by Hurst, which Hurst filed with Goettl's office.
Goettl said he would not be prosecuting the case against Smith, which means a special prosecutor is needed. He also said he would not be defending Smith because the case involves criminal rather than civil allegations. Smith has the option of retaining private counsel, he said.
"For all intents and purposes I have withdrawn from the case," Goettl said.
He said Metcalf's appointment as special prosecutor could become official later this week, once approval is received from the attorney general's office in Frankfort.